Natasha Thames is heading overseas, it was announced Monday.
The recent Temple graduate signed with Finland’s Kotka Peli-Karhut, a team that ranked second in the SM-sarja last year, for the 2014-15 season.
Thames, a forward, averaged 10.3 points-per-game and a team-best 7.2 rebounds-per-game as a redshirt senior during a rough 2013-14 season for the Owls. She also shot 51.5 percent from field-goal range and 69 percent from the free-throw line, averaging 31.5 minutes on the court.
Her career numbers average 6.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 24.3 minutes-per-game, with a 47.7 percent field-goal percentage and a 56.8 percent free-throw percentage.
Thames led the team in blocks last season with 23, and set the Owls’ record for most games played with the team with 134, after starting all 30 games in her final year.
For the first time this season, senior forward Natasha Thames has been named to the American Athletic Conference’s weekly honor roll.
In her last two conference games, Thames has scored in double figures, including a 24 point effort in a loss to No. 5 Louisville. Against the Cardinals, Thames also recorded game-highs with nine rebounds and two blocked shots. In a win against Central Florida, Thames recorded 14 points, three rebounds, and two steals.
Thames is now the fourth Owl to be honored by The American this season, joining fellow starters Tyonna Williams, Feyonda Fitzgerald, and Shi-Heria Shipp.
Redshirt-junior forward Natasha Thames appears to be getting more comfortable with each game following her season-ending knee injury last season.
Coach Tonya Cardoza limited her only other big man outside of senior center Victoria Macaulay to 16, 27 and 22 minutes in the team’s first three games, respectively. Since then she’s averaged 36.4 minutes per game. Her lowest total was 28 against Bowling Green when she left early with a concussion, causing her to miss the next game.
In her last three starts Thames has shot 57.1 percent from the field, compared to 39.3 percent in her previous five starts. In that same span she’s averaging 9.33 points compared to five points to start the season.
Only her rebounding has been consistent, as she’s averaged seven per contest with only one double-digit rebound performance thus far.
As she gets more comfortable expect both her scoring and rebounding to improve further.
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.
The women’s basketball team kicks off the 2012-13 season in the friendly confines of McGonigle Hall when the Owls host Montana on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The Grizzlies finished 16-14 last season, and 9-7 in the Big Sky Conference. The Owls finished 23-10 and 13-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference before falling in the conference semifinals to eventual champion Dayton.
Temple returns standout senior center Victoria Macaulay and redshirt junior forward Natasha Thames. The rest of the team, however, is sophomores and freshmen.
The projected starting lineup for Friday’s game is sophomore Tyonna Williams at the point, freshman May Dayan at shooting guard, freshman forward Sally Kabengano at the three, and Thames and Macaulay.
Cardoza likely won’t decide for sure until Friday shoot-around.