Regardless of the Temple Owl’s 59-39 win over the Iona Gael’s to get them back into the win column after a five-game losing skid, coach Tonya Cardoza was not happy with how her team performed.
“There’s a way that I like to look at things and I don’t think that tonight was anything like the last two games against two ranked opponents,” Cardoza said. “A lot of it is just immaturity. I thought that we’d be more excited about playing at home and playing in front of our fans and feeding off of all of that. I feel like today we just dragged through and just showed up and almost disrespected Iona.”
After the Owl’s last two games against the No. 25 Miami (FL) Hurricanes and No. 20 DePaul Blue Demons, Cardoza was looking for more “passion and intensity” from her team compared to what she saw Thursday night in McGonigle Hall.
One of the words to describe the game is messy. The Owl’s were given 16 chances from behind the arc, but only made four of them, even after Iona was ranked 252nd in the country in three-point field goal defense percentage. They also turned the ball over 24 times and seemed to be rushing at times on offense, shown by the amount of travels called as well.
“Sometimes we’re in a rush and we’re not taking our time,” Cardoza said. “That’s one thing that we have to get better at. Sometimes we’ll see an opportunity and try to hurry up and get it done instead of slowing down and checking for the best option. We’re just in a hurry too much of the time to try to make something happen.”
Sophomore forward Mia Davis continued her stellar start to the season as she recorded a total of 25 points and 14 rebounds, seven each on offense and defense, while playing 32 total minutes. This was her fourth double-double of the season and third-straight as well.
“We started out well and that gave me a little bit of momentum to work with,” Davis said. “We’ve been starting off slow this year and that hasn’t helped us, so getting an early lead gave us some momentum. I’m not really second guessing myself anymore on offense and I’ve been able to get more second chance opportunities on offense also.”
Freshman point guard Marissa Mackins had a very efficient night as she finished with with nine points, three steals, four assists, and three rebounds in 26 minutes. She and graduate student and starting point guard Alliya Butts in the backcourt most of the night.
“I was just playing my game,” Mackins said. “I didn’t want to disappoint the team like I had been the last few games.”
After dropping in 15 points against Ole Miss on Nov. 14th, Mackins scored just 12 points over the next four games on 4-28 shooting, added 6 turnovers as well.
“It feels really great to finally come back home and get a win,” Mackins said. “Our team doesn’t like away games, and especially that many away games in a row. We like playing in front of our home crowd a lot and playing the game that we love.”
The Owl’s will hit the road again on Sunday afternoon, but they will not be traveling far. They’ll be facing off against the Villanova Wildcats (6-2, 0-0 Big East) and will look to upset the Wildcats for their fourth win of the season.