Written By: Liam Andell
Photo Courtesy of: @TempleWBB
Being that Temple only shot 3 for 21 from beyond the arc in its first two games combined, St. Johns understood the recipe for success against the Owls came by forcing them into shots at the perimeter.
Despite the variety of open looks that Temple received from the three point line, they were only able to convert on 5 of 29 attempts. The missed shots cost the Owls big time in the second half as they fell to St. John’s 76-67.
“We weren’t confident shooters, going 5 for 29 from the three point line is not something that’s gonna help you win basketball games,” Coach Cardoza said.
Despite the poor shooting night, Temple (1-2) still found themselves in the game as the score was knotted up at 64 with 5:55 remaining in regulation. Unfortunately for the Owls, the shooting woes continued as they ended the game shooting 1 for 11.
When you have an off night from the field, the hope is that the defense will be able to pick up the slack. This was not the case for the Owls as they allowed St. John’s to stay in the game at the free throw line.
The Red Storm made 26 of 31 free throw attempts on the night. The big chunk of these came towards the latter half of the 2nd quarter when the Owls held as large as a twelve-point lead. The Temple defense attempted to maintain intensity by running a full court press, but it came back to bite them as they reached in and fouled on several occasions despite St. John’s being in the bonus.
This led to nine made free throws in the last 3:33 of the 1st half, which cut the Temple lead to only five when they were in a prime opportunity to create some separation going into halftime.
“We don’t focus enough and we don’t pay attention,” said Cardoza, when speaking about the defense over the last two games.
The leading scorer for St. John’s was senior guard Kadaja Bailey who put up 24 points on the night and was a spark in the fourth quarter for the Red Storm shooting 3 of 3 from the three point line.
One head-scratcher I had about this game was the absence of guard Jasha Clinton. The freshman didn’t see minutes in the game against St. John’s after starting the first two games of the season. Clinton is 1 of 14 combined from the field in the first two games of the season.
When asked about Clinton’s absence Cardoza said it was a coach’s decision. It will be interesting to see if Clinton takes the court for the Owls on Saturday against Bucknell. She was the second-leading scorer on the team last season and certainly has not gotten out to the best start.
Bucknell (1-1) will travel to Philadelphia on Saturday, Nov. 20 to take on the Owls. The game is set to tip-off at 2:00 PM. You can watch live at McGonigle Hall or stream the game on ESPN+.