Owls Mark 1900 Wins With Victory Over ECU

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The Temple men’s basketball team (14-0, 6-6 The American) continued their strong play Friday night as they defeated the Eastern Carolina (ECU) Pirates (9-14, 3-9 The American) by a score of 90-73. Sophomore guard Quinton Rose led the way with 23 points on 9-16 shooting, with 17 of those points coming in the second half.

 

The win marks Temple’s 1900th in school history, which is good for fifth all-time in the college rankings.

 

The Owls started off hot in the first half by taking a 15-4 lead just under six minutes in. The Pirates closed the gap to 21-18 about halfway through, but that was as close as they would get.

The Owls, who had 14 free throw attempts in the half, made five straight free throws to get the lead up to 38-62 with just under five minutes left. The Pirates closed the half on a 9-3 run and were down only 41-35 at the half.

 

The Pirates came out firing at the start of the second half and tied the game at 44 after a three-pointer by redshirt-freshman guard Shawn Williams. Coach Fran Dunphy quickly called a timeout. Afterwards, the Owls outscored the Pirates 46-29 for the rest of the game.

 

“I didn’t tell them anything earth-shattering by any stretch, just basically that we needed to pay attention to our details. From that point on though I thought that they understood that we were in a dogfight and then we made a couple of jump shots and our defense tightened up a little bit.

We are a team that has good stretches of basketball and we have to eliminate the not-so-good.” – Dunphy

 

Rose made his first seven shots of the half and had two emphatic dunks early on courtesy of junior guard Shizz Alston Jr.

 

The first one was off a fast-break and Alston sent the ball Rose’s way from half-court for an alley-oop. The second came just a few minutes later when Alston hit Rose as he was cutting baseline, and Rose proceeded to throw down a dunk over the like of Pirate freshman guard Dimitri Spasojevic.

 

“I think [the dunks] brought a lot of energy,” Rose said. “Those are two big plays but Shizz made two great passes to me and I just finished them off.”

 

The Owls had contributions from most players tonight. Senior guard Josh Brown scored 17 points on 5-11 shooting with eight rebounds, three assists, and one steal. Alston had 14 points on 5-10 shooting, junior center Ernest Aflakpui had 10 points and freshman guard Nate Pierre-Louis had 10 points as well with two threes.

 

Perhaps the surprise of the game was J.P. Moorman II. The freshman forward grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and had 11 points for his first ever career double-double. This was the first time since Lavoy Allen in the 2008 NCAA Tournament that an Owl has recorded a points-rebounds double-double.

 

“He was huge. He did a lot of the little things that Obi has been doing for us and you can see it, those 12 rebounds that he had for us were big rebounds for us,” Brown said. “He was aggressive tonight and helped to run the offense at the top of the key. He was getting those boards and pushing and creating shots for others, so he played a great game for us and I knew he would show up.”

 

Senior forward Obi Enechionya was not available for the game with an illness, so freshman forward De’Vondre Perry started in his place. He grabbed one rebound and blocked one shot in 11 minutes of play.

 

Sophomore center Damion Moore returned to play after he missed the last seven games with a right ankle sprain. He had four points and two rebounds and grabbed two rebounds in nine minutes.

 

Fan-favorite Steve Leonard got into the game towards the end as well. It was the senior forward’s birthday and he was the recipient of multiple cheers all night. He scored one point off of a free throw in one minute of play.

 

“He’s just a good man. Steve is a really good guy and he’s a terrific student and he’s a good teammate, he’s a really good teammate. He comes to practice every day and you never hear anything from him, he just does what you ask of him to do,” Dunphy said. “He’s just one of those great stories in my mind and hopefully our team appreciates him like the coaching staff does.”

 

The Owls will look to extend their win streak to five when they travel to Tampa, Florida to take on South Florida. The Bulls (8-17, 1-11 The American) have lost four games in a row and are in last place in the conference.

 

Penn Beats Out Temple 74-59 for Share of Big 5 Title

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When the University of Pennsylvania Quakers (10-5, 2-1 Ivy, 3-1 Big 5) stepped came into McGonigle Hall Wednesday night to face off against the Temple Owls (9-10, 1-5 American, 2-2 Big 5), a championship was officially on the line.

 

After the Quakers defeated the Villanova Wildcats last weekend, a share of the Big 5 title was officially on the line. Whoever won last night’s matchup would own a share of the 2017-18 Big 5 title with the Wildcats.

 

The Quakers controlled the game right from the tip and ended up winning the contest 74-59. The Owls have now lost five games in a row and are below .500 for the first time this season.

 

“Hats off to Penn, they came in here and knew that there was a championship on the line and on our home court, they took it right to us. Them beating Villanova opened up the door for us, but it also opened up the door for them and they took advantage of us not being able to sit down and defend and guard them the way that they needed to be guarded,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “It’s disappointing that we let that opportunity slip away.”

 

The Quakers ran off to a 13-4 lead in the first four minutes, lead by three three-pointers by junior guard Ashley Russell, senior guard Lauren Whitlatch, and senior forward Michelle Nwokedi.

 

After Cardoza called a timeout to try and settle the team down, the Owls responded with a 9-3 run to cut the lead to just two at 13-11. The Quakers responded with their own 12-3 run and closed the quarter with a 23-14 lead.

 

“We moved a lot more on offense in the first half than in the second half,” senior guard Tanaya Atkinson said. “We got the good opportunities to score in the first because people were moving the ball quicker and guys weren’t just standing there and watching the ball movement.”

 

The Quakers opened the second quarter by scoring six straight points to run the lead to 29-14. The two teams traded buckets for a little after that, but then Atkinson and freshman guard Desiree Oliver fueled the Owls as the team went on a 12-3 run.

 

On back-to-back possessions, Atkinson finished off two impressive and-one’s and Oliver netted two three-point baskets to cut the Quaker lead to just 36-31. The Owls kept the pressure on throughout the rest of the half and the Quakers only held a 42-34 lead at halftime.

 

“After those two and-one’s, I made sure to tell the team that we needed to stay focused. We knew we were down and that we needed to get stops. We wanted to keep a rhythm also by pushing in transition when we had the ball,” Atkinson said. “We needed to be a lot more aggressive down low also and needed to box out in order to get rebounds and run.”

 

In a game of runs, the Quakers had another big one out of the half to take a 53-39 lead. They would not look back from there.

After freshman forward had a three-point play of her own, the Owls cut the deficit to just nine, but Penn closed the quarter on a 16-10 run and held a 62-47 lead.

 

The Owls could not muster a comeback in the final quarter. The closest they got was a 12-point deficit as the Quakers ran out the clock and won the game 74-59.

 

“We needed to focus a lot more on making sure that we were smart with the ball and when and where to pass it. I felt like today we were really, really rattled and in our own heads,” Cardoza said. “Once the game started to get away from us we just lost our composure.”

 

The Quakers had a terrific night scoring the ball, especially down in the post. They scored 40 points down low all night and shot 37.5% from the three-point line as well.

 

“Today’s a great example of how we wanted to defend them in the post, but we didn’t follow that game plan. We didn’t want them to turn over with their left shoulder and go up with their right hand because they’re very good at that. Overall, we didn’t follow the defensive game plan and allowed them to play to their strengths,” Cardoza said. “We said that we wanted to chase shooters off that screen but every single time that a shooter came off we decided to go inside and, like a pinball machine, we were getting bumped all over the place and they got to set their feet and put up an easy shot.”

 

The Owls struggled mightily in the second half. They shot well in both the first and second quarters, yet show a measly 26.3% from the field in the third quarter. The Quakers ran a press defense as well against the Owls, which slowed down the tempo the Owls had wanted to create all game long. As a result, they rushed their offense and ended up with 16 turnovers.

 

“The press slowed us down a lot considering that we like to get out in transition and push the ball,” Oliver said. “It played a big part in us turning the ball over more than we should have.”

 

Atkinson had her 10th double-double of the season as she tallied 19 points and 11 rebounds while Oliver had a good all-around game and contributed 14 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Freshman Mia Davis continued her impressive first year as well with 11 points and eight rebounds.

 

The Owls will look to improve in conference play when they take on the #23 University of South Florida Bulls on Sunday in a road contest.

Women’s Basketball Rolls over Delaware State in 96-72 Victory

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Temple kept attacking the inside. Over and over the Owls were able to get the ball in the low post and put it in the net.

Four of the five starters in Friday night’s season opening 96-72 win over the Delaware State Hornets were guards, but the team had no trouble excelling in the low post all night long.

 

“They [Delaware State[ were outmatched inside, as you can obviously see when you have Mia and Tanaya scoring over 40 points and getting 30 rebounds,” Coach Tonya Cardoza said. “We talked about how they were giving us threes but there was a reason for it, and just because they’re giving them to us doesn’t mean that we always have to shoot them. Once we realized that we really started to throw the ball inside and that was when we pulled away.”

 

Of Temple’s 96 points scored, 44 of them were inside the paint and dominated the boards, grabbing a total of 54. Freshman forward Mia Davis recorded her first double-double in her first collegiate game as she had 21 points and a game high 17 rebounds. Senior guard Tanaya Atkinson had 23 points and 13 rebounds, giving her her 15th career double-double.

 

“We ran a lot of rotations in tonight’s offense and although I play guard it just so happened that I was ending up in the low post a lot,” Atkinson said. “We looked at their foul count and attacked inside the best way that we could once that we noticed that.”

 

The way the offense ran impressed Cardoza as the Owls shot an overall 45.9 percent from the field and had 24 assists in comparison to the Hornet’s 14. The way that all the freshman contributed to the offense impressed Cardonza as well. Temple has six freshmen on this year’s roster, which is double the amount that they had last year. Throw in the fact that senior guard Alliya Butts is out the entire season with a torn ACL and these freshmen will be looked to by Coach Cardoza and the rest of the team to contribute right away.

 

“Of all the new guys that got into tonight’s game, every single one of them did something really well. Mia getting a double-double, Breanna [Perry] getting her first collegiate start and getting four blocks and almost having a double-double, Desiree coming in off the bench and getting six assists, and then Imani not missing a shot and scoring in getting double figures,” Cardoza said. “Those are guys that have never played a collegiate game and did really positive things so I’m hoping that we can continue to build off of that.”

 

Although the offense was efficient, Cardoza did not expect to give up 72 points to a Hornets team that shot just 34.7 percent from the field.

 

Temple committed 24 fouls as well to give the Hornets 30 free throw attempts. Fouls were an issue in Temple’s last exhibition game on November 4 as well. They committed the same number of fouls against the University of Charleston as they did against the Hornets.

 

“When you see the opponents getting wide open shots that means that we’re not talking. Whether it’s in transition, whether it’s on a screen, it’s because we’re not talking enough,” Cardoza said. “I don’t want to make excuses for them, but they’re young and sometimes they don’t know what to say. If you’re just talking about what you’re supposed to be saying, that helps out a lot, but the biggest thing is just the communication element of it all.”

 

Atkinson said that she needs to be more of a leader on the court as one of the lone seniors on the roster.

 

“I feel like I definitely have to step up to the plate. Even when I’m tired I need to talk because like Coach said, some of the young guys don’t really know what to say while on the court,” Atkinson said. “Once we get into the groove of things, we’ll be alright.”

 

The Owls will play again on Monday night at McGonigle at 7:00 when they take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

 

Temple Women’s Soccer Take Down ECU in Conference Opener

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“We were very nervous beforehand.”

 

This is what coach Seamus O’Connor said of Thursday night’s home game versus the East Carolina (ECU) Pirates. This was no ordinary game for Temple, as it was the conference opener and the team was looking for its first conference win since the 2015 season. They were also looking to bounce back from a frustrating 1-0 loss to Central Connecticut State last Saturday, something they hadn’t felt in a while. Fortunately for the Owls, senior captain Elana Falcone scored 50 minutes in for the only goal of the contest and a 1-0 win. The win improved their record to 5-4-1.

 

“Coming off of last year this was definitely a big win for us,” Falcone said. “We have a lot of revenge to get back on the rest of the conference so tonight was a great start to conference play and we’re looking forward to the rest of it.”

 

Looking at the stats of the game before it started, it seemed like it was going to be a very even and gritty match. Both teams had similar records coming in (4-4-1 for Temple, 5-4-2 for ECU) and last year’s matchup was a tight one with the Pirates coming out on top by a score of 2-1.

Temple came out a little flat to start the game, but O’Connor just shaped this up to nerves. “I started to get on them in the first half because they were playing very nervous. They know what they’re supposed to do but they were over-thinking way too much. I just had to get them to play.”

 

Once again depth for the Owls proved to be a strong factor in the outcome. Team points leader and junior forward, Kerri McGinley, came on as a first half substitute and made an immediate impact, putting pressure on the ECU backline and goalie by attacking the ball as soon as it came downfield. Starters, Gabriella McKeown and Kayla Cunningham, had a big impact as well, as McKeown had two shots on goal, three shots total, and an assist on Falcone’s goal.

 

There were a couple of factors as well that the Owls needed to adjust quickly or else the game could have gone in a different direction. “The wind didn’t help at all, soccer is terrible in the conditions thatwe had. ECU was very smart in how they played also as they won the toss and chose to play with the wind first,” O’Connor said. “We just had to sit back at the start and couldn’t come out that far. Even in warmups we noticed the girls could only hit the ball about ten yards during a drill so we went in and told them to get numbers behind the ball, try and find the wingers as quickly as possible, and then find the balls in behind. They did a great job adjusting.”

 

Sophomore goalkeeper, Morgan Basileo, continued her fantastic season as well. She made six saves which lead to her fourth shutout in her six games started. After not beginning the season as the starter, the team has been on a role ever since she became the starter, only giving up two goals since her first start August 31 vs. Rider. “Regardless of what is in net we’re really positive with whoever it’ll be,” Falcone said. “Morgan has been doing great and she’s been very consistent so that’s who we’re sticking with right now.”

O’Connor noted, “The conference is full of good teams from top to bottom. All our conference games are going to be tight.”

Sunday the Owls will look to upset the Cincinnati Bearcats (8-1-2) at Temple Sports Complex starting at 1 P.M.

 

Women’s Soccer Shuts Out Delaware State

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PHILADELPHIA-

 

When senior midfielder Elana Falcone scored off of a deflection at the 4:10 mark to start the match, it seemed as though the Owl’s had already won.

 

Temple played the winless Delaware State University (DSU) Hornets Sunday at the Temple Sports Complex. The game went the Owl’s way, as they ended up winning 8-0 with seven different players scoring. This was Temple’s third win in the past four games and their third straight shutout as well.

 

“This game was important for us, we knew that we had the upper hand in this game,” Falcone commented. “We knew that we wanted to just stick to our own game plan and not play their game at all.”

 

Even before the match began it felt like DSU was overmatched. They were 0-8 coming into the match and have only scored one goal all year and have only taken 44 shots all year, including the shots taken in their matchup against the Owls. Temple on the other hand has scored 17 goals all year and has taken 133 shots.

 

The Owls had no trouble creating chances for themselves as the ball was always on the Hornet’s end. Of the 24 shots taken, a staggering 18 of those shots were on net, that’s a 75%.

 

“I think today that was the demand, I didn’t give them any scout on anybody,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “I just told them you’ve got to focus on yourself and do your job and once we did that then the opportunities and goals came.”

 

Temple scored its first three goals within the first 15 minutes and was up 5-0 at halftime. Almost every player got into the game for the Owls and junior goalkeeper Jordan Nash played the second half while sophomore goalkeeper Morgan Basileo played in the first half. Neither goalie was challenged.

Graduate student and forward, Morgan Glassford, added on, “How we started out was so important. Sometimes we’ll be in a 0-0 game and not a lot of subs will come in, so just knowing that we have so many players who can score off the bench is vital. It was awesome today.”

This is also the third straight game where the Owl’s have not given up a goal. The amount of shots that their opponents have had during this streak has declined each game as well. Basileo had the first two shutouts while she and Nash split the game today. “This streak has given us more confidence in what we are doing. Knowing that we are hard to score on has made us a very difficult team to play against,” O’Connor said. “Teams who play us know they will have to work hard to try to score on us and that usually leaves them open to one of our quick counter attacks where we can take advantage of our speed to get a shot on goal.”

 

The Owls will look to continue their hot streak Saturday  September 23rd, when they travel to New Britain to face off against the 3-5 Central Connecticut State Blue Devils.

SportsDesk Spotlight Shines on TUWS Freshman, Emma Wilkins

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Coming into her freshman year, Emma Wilkins had a hard time adjusting to college soccer.

“It’s a drastic change from high school to college. You really have to be committed while here and you want to give it your all, even at practice. Having to manage your time wisely and taking care of your body more than usual is very important too because you’re playing more than you ever have before. It’s a lot more of a mental game as well. Coming in I wasn’t really confident in my game.”

Wilkins, a forward from Absegami High School in Galloway Township, NJ, was a high school standout, as she was named to Atlantic County’s First Team her junior and senior year. She played for Players Development Academy (PDA) United outside of high school and led that team in goals and won the NJ State Cup three times.

Her recruitment began around the middle of her junior year of high school and she was interested in coming to Temple right away. “Temple is very well known plus the campus is really nice and has a lot of improvements. We have a new locker room and a new facility but also it’s closer to my home than my other options were,” Wilkins said. “I’m familiar with Coach Seamus O’Connor and I know some of the other girls here. It was a much easier choice than the rest of my offers.”

Two of the girls that Dolan is familiar with are sisters Kelcie and Julia Dolan. Kelcie, a team captain and junior defender, and Julia, a freshman midfielder, attended Absegami with Wilkins. Having Julia come to Temple with her this year and being able to play with Kelcie again made it much easier for Wilkins to adjust to college. “It [playing together] has been a lot of fun. Everyone’s always said that me and Julia have a lot of chemistry together and I’m sure we’ll get to see that more as we get more comfortable. They’re both practically my sisters.”

The fifth game of the season is where Wilkins began to get into her groove. Wilkins has since adjusted and found her confidence. She put away two goals in The Owls matchup vs. Rider University, a comeback win for the Owls that also doubled as their first home win of the season. Moving along on September 3rd vs. Mount St. Mary’s, Wilkins added an assist to a 2-0 shutout win. She is currently tied for the team lead in points with five. Wilkins contributed her confidence boost to her teammates. “They believed in me before I really believed in myself. They may have not even known what I could do but they still knew that there was something in me,” she said, “They all really helped me out and putting and scoring those two goals really helped my game.”

While Wilkins’ contributions have helped the Owls in the last few games, she has attributed all of the late success to the team as a whole. Last year the team had a record of 3-16 and not even through at the halfway point of the season, the team has matched the win total from last year. She stated, “I’ve kept my confidence up and I just see how hard my teammates work and I don’t want to let them down,” Wilkins said, “We really want to do well in conference and to have a winning record in the end.”

Wilkins will look to keep up the pace as the season continues. Although the team is going to take it game-by-game, her main goal is to, “…score more goals and win more also. That’s my favorite part about the game.”

Owls Take Down Mount St. Mary’s In a 2-0 Shut Out

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PHILADELPHIA- On Sunday afternoon, Temple Women’s Soccer shutout the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers 2-0. The win improved the Owl’s record to 3-3, matching the amount of wins they had last season. Mount St. Mary’s had a similar record of 3-2 before the start of this contest.

The Owl’s played an efficient game. They made crisp passes on the offensive side which led to strong runs down the sideline and several shots on goal. Mount St. Mary’s goaltender, Maggie Barron, dove on top of the ball inside the penalty box countless times. Temple’s momentum erupted  around the 15-minute mark when senior forward, Gabriella McKeown, moved around one defender and then struck the ball into the left side of the net. Freshman midfielder, Emma Wilkins, assisted on the play, making this her third point in the last two games.

 

With about 10 minutes left in the half, McKeown put in her second goal off of an assist by junior forward, Kerri McGinley. This would prove to be the goal that sealed the deal for the Owls as all they would have to do is play a clean game the rest of the way to ensure a win. The Mountaineers did make a few drives down the stretch, but they just could not come up on the score board.

 

The Owls defense continued to suffocate the opposing offense. Freshman defender, Aisha Brown, ran the Mountaineer offense down the sideline and was consistently able to clear the ball. Junior defender, Kelcie Dolan, teamed up well with Brown as she pushed the Mountaineers toward the sideline and as a result would force an errant pass. When freshman defender, Marissa DiGenova, came in as a sub for Dolan, she picked up right where Dolan left off.

 

Although the Mountaineers did outshoot the Owls 22-12. Temple was able to control the tempo with a comfortable lead throughout the entirety of the game.

 

The Owl’s will look to continue their winning streak Friday September 8th, when they go to Maryland to face the 3-2-1 Towson Tigers.

Two Wilkins Goals Lifts Temple Women’s Soccer Over Rider 3-1

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PHILADELPHIA— Temple Women’s Soccer improved to 2-3 on the year Thursday night, taking down the Rider Broncos at Howarth Field by a score of 3-1. Rider, playing in its third game the season, was looking to take home its first win while the Owls were looking for their second win in five games.

The Owls took control of the offensive side of the ball early, as they largely controlled possession and had more shots in the first half. However, Rider senior forward Ellie Smith opened up the scoring just nine minutes in off of a cross into the goalie box landed at her feet. That would go on to be the only goal for the visitors all evening.

Wilkins also played for PDA United U17-18, where she led the team in goals and was a three-time State Cup Champion. // Credit: Temple Athletics

Temple kept the pressure on Rider, getting chance after chance to tie the game up. It took until the 12th minute of the first half for Temple midfielder Emma Wilkins to find the back of the net. The freshman beat three Rider defenders down the middle of the field and scored to tie the game up at one.

Just two minutes later, sophomore midfielder Morgan Morocco showed exceptional speed to break the tie and give the Owls the lead. Sophomore defender Emily Keitel assisted on the play with a nice, long pass downfield that led Morocco right onto the ball who finished with her right foot.

The score stayed like this for a while as both teams had their chances throughout the rest of the first half and most of the second half. Temple’s defense continued tormenting Rider’s offense, making even the simplest pass a difficult one. Sophomore defender Lacey Powell stood out throughout the second half as she denied almost every chance that Rider had inside the penalty box. Most every shot that was put on net was turned into an easy save for Temple goalkeeper Morgan Basileo.

The final goal to seal the deal came with four minutes left in the contest, as Wilkins put in her second goal of the night off of a rebound and deflection. Up 3-1, the Owls went into cruise control and played the clock on their way to a victory.

Temple outshot Rider 13-3 in the first half and 13-5 in the second half for a total advantage of 26-8, including three more corners. Temple’s substitution moves were also extremely effective. Wilkins and Morocco came on as subs and combined to score all three of the Owl’s goals while junior midfielder Sarah McGlinn had her chances as well with a total of four shots.

Temple’s next game is back at Howarth Field with a start time of 3:30 pm vs. Mount St. Mary’s.

For the 2017 Women’s Soccer preview releasing Monday check the website or follow @TU_SportsDesk on Twitter.