Written By: Liam Andell
Photo Courtesy of: @TempleWBB
The Owls came into Saturday’s matchup against UCF having not beaten either of the top two teams in the American Athletic Conference: UCF or USF. Temple will have to wait until a possible AAC tournament matchup to take down one of these teams because UCF scorched Temple on both ends of the court Saturday afternoon and won 68-31.
“That’s not the type of product I want to put on the floor,” said Cardoza.
The Owls scored a season-low 31 points as nothing was working for the offense going a combined 12 of 52 from the field.
“We have tunnel vision. I don’t think we see everything and I feel like we missed some guys that were wide open on the perimeter that would have gotten a wide open shot,” Cardoza said.
It should be no surprise to anyone that the Owls struggled from beyond the arc as they shoot 23.9%, which is a conference low. This is how they have been all season long, but the real surprise in the game was how inefficient the Temple was inside.
The leading scorer for the Owls this season was held to just 1 point in the game. Davis shot 0 of 6 from the field and did not record her lone point until the fourth quarter.
“They basically just didn’t let you find her..they had bigs that are swallowing up where she doesn’t have a lot of breathing room,” Cardoza said. “ We needed guys to step up and make plays and we didn’t have that today.”
The production from the rest of the team was practically non-existent. Nobody on Temple was able to get into double figures. Aniya Gourdine fell back down to reality in the loss as she shot 2 of 11 from the field with no assists. This comes after she compiled two triple doubles in her last three games.
Temple could not put the ball in the basket in this matchup and they also could not hold onto the ball. The 21 turnovers by Temple led to 25 points by UCF. The full court trap by the Knights was giving Temple fits throughout the entire game.
UCF’s dominant defense led to a successful transition offense on the other end. Brittney Smith led the way with 14 points on an efficient 7 of 11 shooting while junior guard Alisha Lewis found her rhythm from beyond the arc as she made all of her 12 points from three-point land to go along with five rebounds and six assists.
“We didn’t give ourselves a chance because we turned the basketball over, we didn’t give ourselves a chance because we allowed them to get easy opportunities,” said Cardoza.
Temple will need to get back on track over the final regular season games before the AAC tournament begins on Mar. 7. The Owls have a 2.5 game lead over Houston in the standings and have an opportunity to solidify a first-round bye if they defeat Houston tonight.