Last week seemed busy, but it has nothing on Thanksgiving week, one of the busiest of the year. Students are traveling back home for a few days to unwind for a bit and enjoy good food with family as they prepare for finals season.
As for the fall programs within Temple Athletics, Thanksgiving Week hits home a little differently, as it’s also Senior Week. Football’s disappointing season goes out on a whimper. Men’s basketball looks to rebound at the Liacouras Center after a 7th place finish in Charleston. And women’s basketball looks to take down a Big 5 rival. It’s time for the second edition of the Weekly Roundup.
In a season where the Owls were completely decimated in conference play, it ends in another blowout loss at home. In front of just 16,708 (their smallest attendance of the season), the Owls fell to Navy, 38-14. On Military Appreciation Day at the Linc, the Midshipmen controlled the game from start to finish, a common theme for AAC opponents against Temple this season.
Navy ran the ball down the Owls’ throats, picking up 219 yards on the ground alone. For comparison, the Owls only had 182 yards of total offense (passing & rushing). The Midshipmen also out possessed the Owls by nearly 15 minutes. Earlier in the week, Temple Football Head Coach Rod Carey stressed that his team’s lack of time of possession lead to a tired defense in their loss to Tulsa.
On Saturday, Carey felt the same in his postgame presser:
“I think if the offense had helped more, I think the defense was good enough to win today as well. I certainly have felt that the last couple of weeks. “
The Owls finish the season 3-9, (1-7 vs AAC) and will miss bowl eligibility for a second straight season. In 2020, they finished 1-6 after a pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. Before this recent 4-15 slump, the Owls went a combined 43-24 with an AAC Championship (2 title game appearances) and a Gasparilla Bowl win in 2017.
It was announced Monday morning that Temple will be parting ways with Head Coach Rod Carey after two losing seasons. Temple University VP & Athletic Director Arthur Johnson made a statement following the news:
“It’s never an easy decision to replace a head coach. The past two seasons have not been easy with the challenges of the pandemic. I want to thank Rod for staying committed to our student-athletes and wish him and his family well in their next chapter.”
Following a disappointing 7th place finish in the Shriner’s Charleston Classic, the Temple men’s basketball program returns home for a 3 matchups versus local opponents. In game one of the homestand, the Owls defeated the Delaware Blue Hens, 75-74.
Starting guard Khalif Battle, who shined in the loss to USC two weeks ago, shined again on Saturday night. The sophomore had a season high 29 points, 20 of which coming in the second half. For his efforts vs Delaware, Battle was named the AAC Player of the Week.
Guards Damian Dunn & Jeremiah Williams were the other Owls in double digits Saturday, with 13 and 11 points scored respectively. Temple Head Coach Aaron Mckie spoke on his team’s effort to put away the Hens late in their third win this season:
“Take them how you can get them…I’ll take the win. It’s something we’ll take a look at and just keep pushing forward, and just try to get better in taking those baby steps.”
The Owls are 3-3 and back to .500 as they begin the Philadelphia Big 5 portion of their schedule. First, they will host the LaSalle Explorers on December 1st, before hosting the Penn Quakers the following Saturday (12/4).
Like their men’s counterpart, the women’s basketball squad is also 3-3, following a win at Villanova on Saturday. In their 68-62 victory over the Wildcats, the Owls shot 43.9% from the field, and 35.3% from three in the victory.
“What a game! That was really exciting. We knew coming in here that it was important for us to really play well on the defensive side….We did a really great job of staying focused, and yes we made mistakes but we really didn’t get down on ourselves.– Temple WBB Head Coach Tonya Cardoza
Freshman guard Aniya Gourdine led the team in scoring with 17 points, despite not being a starter. Gourdine was honored as the AAC Freshman of the Week and was named to the Big 5’s Weekly Honor Roll for her efforts. The Baltimore native is only averaging 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds this season in her limited role off the bench. With the defensive focus being put on star forward Mia Davis every game, there may come more games this season, where secondary scoring support is crucial for victory.
“We talked about not holding on to the ball too long…we just needed more movement. We know that people are gonna focus in on Mia [Davis]. I felt like with what we were running we had more movement and guys were more confident and stepped up to make shots.– Coach Tonya Cardoza
Speaking of Davis, she became the second leading scorer of all-time in program history, per Sam Cohn of OwlScoop.com. Davis has 1,943 career points, 251 shy of Owls legend Marilyn Stephens (1980-84).
The Owls look to go over .500 for the second time this season, as they take on Georgetown in the nation’s capital (11/30). Their current 3 game road trip comes to an end in Pittsburgh with a date with the Duquesne Dukes. (12/5)
Temple Volleyball finishes what was a disappointing season with a 3 sets to 2 win on Senior Day vs ECU. Graduate Miray Bolukbasi led the Owls in kills with 28, a season high. The outside hitter finished her season with 366 kills (lead team), 6 assists and 7 aces.
Following a 7-24 campaign, it was announced by Temple Athletics that Head Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam will not have his contract renewed. In 11 seasons on North Broad, Ganesharatnam went a combined 173-144, with four-20 win seasons. The last 4 years however, have been rough sledding for the program, with a combined 38-67 record.
“I would like thank Temple University, the athletic department, and the North Philadelphia community for their support over the last 11 years. I was blessed with meeting great faculty members, administrators, fellow coaches, and most importantly, some amazing student athletes during this journey.”– Head Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam
Like the football program, a national search will take place to find a replacement at the head coach position. In the meantime, Ren Cefra, an assistant coach, will serve in an interim head coaching role.
Last Wednesday, the Temple Gymnastics program released their schedule for the 2022 season. The reigning EAGL conference champions open the season at McGonigle Hall, when they host the Keystone Classic on January 7th. The quad meet will consist of all Pennsylvania based opponents: Penn State, Penn & Pitt.
The next 5 meets will be on the road for the Owls, including the Chows Winter Classic @ Iowa State on January 15th. The Owls next meet at home is the annual Ken Anderson Memorial Invitational, the eponymous meet honors the former Temple Gymnastics coach (1986-2006), who passed away in 2008. The Owls will host the Yale Bulldogs in that event, on February 18th.
The home schedule will be wrapped up with consecutive home meets on the 6th (Alumni Night) & 13th (Senior Day) of March. On March 19th, the Owls will look to defend their conference title in the 2022 EAGL Championships.
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