Written By: Liam Andell
Photo Courtesy of: @templewbb
Temple found themselves in an early hole during the first quarter and St. Joes never allowed them to crawl back in as the Hawks defeated Temple 73-63.
Both teams shot an identical 48 percent from the field, but similar to most games this season, the Owls were outscored in three-pointers as the Hawks accounted for four more three-pointers made. This is the sixth time this season that the Owls have been outscored at the three-point line, they are 2-4 in those games.
“It’s hard when you can’t be disruptive, and we weren’t disruptive at all,” said Cardoza.
While the Owls recorded 14 steals in comparison to 10 by St. Joes, it was evident that the disruption levels by the Owls’ defense were quickly diffused based upon the number of open shots given up.
Graduate guard Katie Jekot absolutely torched the Owls in this matchup as she recorded a game-high 25 points and shot 5 of 9 from beyond the arc.
Freshman guard Mackenzie Smith was electric early on, scoring 11 of her 12 points in the first quarter which helped the Hawks develop the lead that they held all game long.
Throughout the season, Coach Cardoza has looked for the defense to apply the full-court pressure when the Owls are trailing in hopes to record takeaways. St. Joes defeated the pressure consistently to find open people down the court.
“They’re just smart, they waited for us to jump and they’d make the next pass that was going to lead to a break on the other end,” Cardoza mentioned.
St. Joes did a great job moving the ball around the court, they had 20 assists on 26 made field goals which is seven more than what they average on the season.
The Hawks found themselves with many contributors outside of Jekot as they outscored the Owls in bench points 23-6. The six bench points are remarkably low for a team that has been able to find production from quite a few bench players this season.
Although that may be a product of the way Jasha Clinton played, her 24 points is a season-high for her as she went 10 of 15 from the field with 5 assists and 4 steals. Coming into the matchup, Clinton was only averaging six points per game but today’s showing gave Cardoza glimpses of last season when Clinton and Davis were the two most dominant forces for the Owls.
Alexa Williamson had a very underwhelming performance with only six points on 2 of 6 shooting, this is her third straight game without getting into double figures. With teams constantly packing the paint to defend Davis and Williamson, the guards on Temple tend to force the ball inside into double teams which lead to costly turnovers
This loss drops the Owls to 5-4 on the season with only three games remaining in nonconference play. They will travel to Evanston, Illinois on Dec. 17, at 8:00 p.m. to take on Northwestern (7-3). The game can be viewed on the Big Ten Network.