The term “much-needed win” gets thrown around a lot these days, often over-used and understated. But for the women’s basketball team, the clichéd term fit like a glove.
Marred in a season-long four game losing streak and with a showdown against No. 13 George Washington looming this weekend, let’s just say the Owls needed things to go their way as they faced off with St. Bonaventure Tuesday night at the Liacouras Center.
And 40 minutes later, the Owls could breathe that sigh of relief.
Thanks in large part to shooting 70 percent from the field in the first half; the Owls downed the Bonnies, 73-62, for their first victory in 2008. Freshman forward Lindsay Kimmel and sophomore guard LaKeisha Eaddy each scored 13 points in the effort, with junior forward Shenita Landry adding 12 points off the bench.
Though she was pleased finally getting a win, Temple (8-10, 1-1 in the Atlantic Ten Conference) coach Dawn Staley didn’t exactly have positive things to say about her team’s play.
“I don’t think things went right, even though we put enough points on the scoreboard to win,” she said. “We’re not playing very good basketball at the moment, that’s just the honest truth.”
Staley’s rather unoptimistic outlook on her team re-appeared as she assessed the Owls’ shutting down St. Bonaventure (12-5, 0-2 A-10) forward Dana Mitchell, the leading scorer in the conference. The Owls held her to just 10 points and one rebound, with the 6-1 sophomore also picking up four personal fouls.
“[Mitchell]’s always been in foul trouble every time we’ve played them. We don’t bank on that, we just try to make it difficult for her to catch it,” Staley said. “So we concentrate on her, but I think she was her own worst enemy today, picking up a couple of offensive fouls. I don’t think we did anything special.”
Starting her second game in a row primarily for her offense, Kimmel hit three three-pointers and played 32 minutes. However, Staley did show some signs of being positive when talking about the play of Kimmel.
The key word in there is some.
“She’s doing her job on the offensive end,” Staley said. “Defensively, she’s got to get better.”
Kimmel, meanwhile, attributes her improved play to the fact that she’s starting the game on the floor instead of on the bench.
“I think its easier being in the swing of things from the beginning, [rather] than coming off the bench,” she said. “But I’m just trying to do what coach asks me right now.”
And with that, Staley couldn’t help but chime in.
“Play some defense,” she said.
But now the Owls’ focus shifts to their match-up with top-ranked George Washington Saturday. The team knows that while the end of their losing streak came just in time, they simply need to win games.
“[The win] definitely [boosts] our confidence going into the [George Washington] game,” Eaddy said.
“We need wins right now,” Kimmel added. “We really are looking to come out hard on any team, it doesn’t matter who it is.”
Senior guard Ashley Morris, the Owls’ leading scorer, left the game with 15:06 remaining in the second half after being cut above her left eye. After getting stitches, Staley said that she will be ready for Saturday. Morris scored six points and dished out five assists before exiting the contest …Staley is now 13-1 in her career against St. Bonaventure…The Owls out-rebounded the Bonnies, 37-19.
Todd Orodenker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.