PHILADELPHIA- The Owls were completely overmatched in their second game of the season at home vs the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, but his game could be a learning opportunity for the younger players.
Coming off an exciting home opener win vs. Delaware State, the Owls looked poised for a strong start to their season, but the Scarlet Knights had other ideas. Temple fell 84-67, in a game that was not as close as the score ensued.
Head Coach Tonya Cardoza was not pleased with the result of tonight’s game, “the two most important things against Rutgers was making sure we took care of the basketball and not allowing them to get second-chance opportunities, and we did not do a good job of that, we gave up 40 points in that area, and 28 points off of turnovers.”
Coach Tonya Cardoza said after their win vs. Delaware State that the team had set a goal for themselves to have less than 15 turnovers per game. With Rutgers playing full-court pressure the entire game, they were able to force the Owls into bad passes, and bait them into having 23 turnovers.
When asked how frustrating it was to turn over the ball 23 times, Cardoza said, “It is really frustrating, especially with how easy we break the press, so to know how easy it is and revert and do something different from that, that’s frustrating. She knew they would turn the ball over just because it happens in basketball and with Rutgers’ defensive style of play, but she did not think they would turn over the basketball 23 times.
Tanaya Atkinson registered her second double-double of the season, by leading all scorers with 30 points and 13 rebounds. Atkinson kept the Owls in the game, by coming out firing in the 2nd half and scoring 8 straight uncontested points. She left the game, grimacing in pain and did not return, but later said it was just a “cramp”.
Mia Davis scored 13 of her own and was 1 rebound shy of matching Atkinson’s double-double.
The Owls dug themselves in a hole after the first quarter, being down 24-13. The Scarlet Knights never looked back and took advantage of the Owls miscues, by scoring 28 points off of their 23 turnovers.
At halftime, the Owls were down 45-24 and the game looked destined for a blowout, but they came out of the gate in the 2nd-half looking to fight back. Led by Tanaya Atkinson strong 3rd quarter performance of scoring 16 points, the Owls fought back and cut the lead down to 7. Cardoza was happy to see her team show some life and some effort in the 2nd-half and prove they would not go down without a fight.
The Owls were only able to close the gap to 7, as the full court pressure and depth of Scarlet Knights rotation was just too much for an Owls team that only had two players playing particularly well.
The Owls look to bounce back this Thursday night as they take on the Wagner Seahawks, who are coming off two consecutive losses, at 7:00 PM at McGonigle Hall.