Owls will try to end losing streak in Big 5 battle

The women’s basketball team will look to stop a two-game losing skid in their first Big 5 meeting of the season tonight.

Coming off a bad loss to Kent State (1-9) and a 22-point loss to Auburn (9-2) the Owls will have no easy time tonight against rival Villanova.

The Wildcats will enter tonight at 8-1 and 3-0 at home. Coach Harry Perretta’s squad are winners of their last seven games. Laura Sweeney, averaging 12 points and six rebounds per game, and Rachel Roberts, averaging 11 points and 3 rebounds, lead a balanced Villanova offense.

Although they’ll be playing on the outskirt of the city, tonight will be Temple’s third game of a six-game road swing. Losers of their last two, the Owls have fallen to 5-4 and just 1-3 in away games.

Perhaps the most alarming difference between these two teams is their turnover ratios. Temple has been plagued by turnovers all season, averaging 23 giveaways per game. Villanova, on the other hand, does a great job of protecting the ball. The Wildcats average just 12 turnovers per game.

Villanova is also shooting .364 from three-point range on the season, while Temple is shooting .254 from beyond the arc. However, the Owls will have sophomore guard Rateska Brown available off the bench tonight. Brown, arguably the team’s best three-point shooter, missed the previous game against Auburn due to a violation of team conduct.

Temple coach Tonya Cardoza admitted earlier in the week that Villanova is a team the Owls typically have a tough time defending. They’ll look to break that notion tonight in their first Big 5 affair of the season.

The Owls and Wildcats are set to tip off at 6 p.m. in Villanova.

-Tyler Sablich

Lady Owls look to get back on track at Auburn

The women’s basketball team has had 10 days to soak in their ugly loss against Kent State on Dec. 6. Today, the Owls will look to get back on track against Auburn, Temple’s second game of a six-game road swing.

The Owls were riding high off of their best win of the season against Syracuse before Kent State upset them 71-62. Kent State was previously 0-7 before the win, with their lowest margin of defeat still coming at 14 points. The difference in the game came at the free throw line, where Temple went 7-for-9 and Kent State went 24-for-29.

Temple will face a tougher task today in Auburn (7-2). The Lady Tigers have three players averaging double figures. Sophomore guard Hasina Muhammad leads the team in scoring with 16.4 points per game. Junior guard Tyrese Tanner averages 12.4 and senior forward Blanche Alverson, a three-point specialist, averages 11.8. Auburn is 3-0 at home this season.

Senior center Victoria Macaulay is coming off a 25-point, 13-rebound performance against Kent State, recording her fifth double-double in a losing effort.

The Owls, 5-3, will look to get back on track today at 3 p.m. against Auburn.

Tyler Sablich

Rebounds make for early success

Part of the the women’s basketball team’s success on the defensive end this season can be traced back to one simple thing: rebounds.

Temple is holding opponents to just .340 shooting in their first eight games and 57.8 points per game. Those are respectable numbers for a team that returned just two starters from last season.

The reason behind this has been rebounds. The Owls average 42.6 boards per game while holding opponents to just 35.3. In all but one game, in a loss to Nebraska early in the season, they have won the rebound battle. On the offensive glass they hold just a four-rebound margin, 110-106.

But on the defensive end is where they’ve had the most success, snagging 231 rebounds against 176 by their opponents. That’s a 55-rebound difference, or 6.9 per game.

Senior center Victoria Macaulay is the driving force behind this, averaging 10.1 rebounds per game, with 7.5 of those coming on the defensive end. But the rest of the team has chipped in as well. Five other Owls have at least 20 defensive boards, and three of them average at least four rebounds per game.

Crashing the boards, especially on defense, has limited opponents opportunities and kept their offenses in check. It’s a big reason why such a young squad is 5-3 to start the season.

-Jake Adams

Thames, guards remain fluid

The women’s basketball team (5-3) is 0-1 this season without redshirt-junior forward Natasha Thames in the lineup.

The unheralded frontcourt partner of senior center Victoria Macaulay missed her first game of the season with a mild concussion, in Temple’s 71-62 loss to Kent State on Dec. 6. Freshman forward Meghan Roxas made her first collegiate start of her career.

Roxas scored just four points, shooting 1-for-17 while grabbing four rebounds in 20 minutes of work. She also turned the ball over twice in that time.

Coach Tonya Cardoza also replaced freshman guard Erica Covile with fellow freshman guard May Dayan in the starting lineup. Cardoza previously made a switch to Covile after five games to try and get a more physical presence on the court.

Thames is cleared to play Sunday against Auburn (7-2), but the guard situation remains fluid in the early goings of the season.

-Jake Adams

Two forwards out for season

Senior ice hockey forwards Chris Brennan and Chris Johnson are both out for the remainder of the academic semester due to injury, coach Jerry Roberts said.

Brennan will sit out due to mild concussion symptoms resulting from a hit taken last week in a 6-2 loss against the University of Maryland. Brennan has a history of concussion-related problems and is being treated with caution this time around as a result.

“He had a doctor appointment this past week and we’re going to give him some time to relax,” Roberts said.“Every injury he has gets a little more serious than the one before. With his history, we want to make sure we aretaking on the proper precautions.”

Meanwhile, Johnson has had complications in dealing with what Roberts termed the “early stages of arthritis” in his back.

“There are long-term concerns for him in life beyond hockey with his back so that’s something we’re concerned about,” Roberts said.“He’s going through a rehab program over [winter break].”

Barring any setbacks, the two seniors are projected to return after the academic break.

Preparation key in taking on Monmouth

Heading into tomorrow’s matchup with top conference rival Penn State, Temple will be looking to gain momentum tonight when it takes on Monmouth University.

The Owls are coming off of a 6-2 loss to the University of Maryland on Nov. 30.

“We made sure in practice this week that we were more aware of our play and how we’re doing instead of worrying about the opposition,” coach Jerry Roberts said.“We know we’re going to go out there and take steps towards making progress and getting to where we need to be.”

The Owls (12-8) are 5-5 in Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association play, while Monmouth (5-4) sits at 1-3 in the conference.

Heading into a tough matchup tomorrow night with the ice lions of State College, Roberts knows this one is a must-win.

“It’s not so much about the scoreboard as much as it is playing the right way and making sure we’re prepared properly tomorrow,” Roberts said.“We can win this game tonight by one goal and feel like we aren’t prepared going into tomorrow. We’re looking to do the right things tonight that’ll help tomorrow.”

Junior goalie Chris Mullen will get the nod in net for both weekend games. Senior forwards Chris Brennan and Chris Johnson are both ruled out for the rest of the semester due to injury.

Game time is set for 8:30 p.m.

-Andrew Parent

Addazio accepts position at Boston College

Steve Addazio has accepted the head coaching position at Boston College, a Temple source confirmed.

Addazio went 13-11 in two seasons at Temple. He went 9-4 in his first season in 2011, including the program’s first bowl win since 1979 in a 37-15 victory at the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

“Steve Addazio has done a tremendous job with Temple Football in his two years at the University, and we wish him nothing but the best,” Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw said in a press release. “Temple Football has never been stronger, and I am confident we will be able to attract a high-level pool of candidates for the position and the program will continue its upward momentum.”

Addazio will fill the hole at Boston College left by former coach Frank Spaziani, who was fired after the Eagles’ 2-10 finish this year, his fourth season with the team. Spaziani went 21-29 at Boston College.

Addazio informed the team of his departure personally at a team meeting at approximately 5 p.m. Players were seen walking from the meeting on their phones or huddled in groups talking.

Freshmen linebackers Tyler Matakevich and Rob Dvoracek Tweeted “wow” at 5:18 p.m. and 5:35 p.m., respectively. Junior defensive back Abdul Smith Tweeted “At the end of the day these coaches only look out 4 themselves. They sell you on a lie that only benefits them.”

Redshirt-junior quarterback Chris Coyer Tweeted “Well. Here we go again. 3 coaches in 5 years. Whatever just grinding that much harder to get where we wanna go next year”

A national search for Addazio’s replacement will begin immediately, the press release indicated.

Shuffle of guards, less turnovers

Lost in Wednesday’s win over Bowling Green was coach Tonya Cardoza’s decision to start freshman guard Erica Covile over freshman guard May Dayan.

At least for one game the results speak for themselves.

Covile was 4-for-7 on the night, making her first start of the season from the two position. She finished with eight points, six boards, two blocks and a steal in 29 minutes of action.

Dayan was solid off the bench, going two for four for six points and a rebound. But while she dished out two assists she also turned the ball over three times in 17 minutes.

That’s the biggest difference on the night, and on the season. Dayan has been far more careless with the ball. Covile had zero turnovers despite playing more minutes.

While she single-handedly didn’t make the difference in that department for the Owls, who had a season low 14 giveaways, it is a start.

It’ll be interesting to see if Cardoza sticks with Covile for the time being.

-Jake Adams

Women’s basketball hosts Syracuse

The women’s basketball team will look to build on their well-balanced effort last time out in Sunday’s game against Syracuse.

The Owls cruised to a 70-56 win against Bowling Green last week to improve to 4-2 on the season. Temple’s 14 turnovers against the Falcons were a season-low after averaging 24 giveaways per game through the first five games.

Coach Tonya Cardoza said, following the loss to Rutgers, that it was imperative her team begin to protect the ball, and it seemed as though the Owls reacted well to those words. Freshman small forward Sally Kabengano had a career night, recording 17 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots. Sophomore point guard Tyonna Williams committed a season-low two turnovers.

The Orange may prove to be Temple’s most daunting task thus far. Syracuse will bring a 7-0 record into Philadelphia. They’re coming off a one-point against Virginia last weekend.

Six-foot-4-inch senior center Kayla Alexander leads the Syracuse attack. She averages 20.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game to go along with 34 blocks. Temple senior center Victoria Macaulay going toe to toe with Alexander may be a key component in how the game turns out.

Temple vs. Syracuse tips off at 2 p.m. Sunday in McGonigle Hall.

-Tyler Sablich