Brown to transfer, says others will follow

Junior guard Rateska Brown confirmed last week that she plans to transfer ahead of the 2014-15 season to spend her final year of eligibility elsewhere.

Brown said that, including dismissed sophomore forward Jacquilyn Jackson, three other Owls will be transferring this offseason. Brown said that two of the players do not want their identities revealed yet.

“Yes, I’m transferring,” Brown said. “We always have meetings [with coach Tonya Cardoza] after the season is over about next year or how we had done in the past season, and there wasn’t even the option of coming back next year. It was suggested that I transfer.”

In an interview prior to the 2014 American Athletic Conference tournament, Brown spoke about her displeasure toward her reserve role for the Owls, and she later confirmed that the disagreement on the situation with Cardoza was one of her reasons for leaving Temple.

“I just thought it was going to be a fair season next year where everyone gets to work hard,” Brown said, referring to what she perceives as preferential treatment and favoritism by the Owls coaching staff.  “Whoever is the best at it gets to start, but I had doubts about next year. I had doubts that I was even going to come back, which I’m not.”

Prior to the 2013-14 season, Brown and Jackson were suspended from the team for a violation of team rules. Jackson was dismissed, but Brown returned as the Owls’ main weapon from the bench – averaging 7.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game – and was rewarded with The American’s Sixth Player of the Year award.

During the past two seasons, Jackson, May Dayan, Sally Kabengano and Leah Horton left the team.

Brown honored in honor rolls

This week, junior guard Rateska Brown has been named to the Philadelphia Big 5 and American Athletic Conference honor rolls.

Brown has been an essential offensive weapon in the Owls’ recent two game winning streak — the team’s first winning streak since starting the season 3-0. Coming off of the bench, Brown has averaged 16 points in the last two conference games, including 15 points against Southern Methodist, and a season-high 17 points against Cincinnati.

In the last two games, Brown has been Temple’s most effective long range scorer, shooting a combined 7 of 15 from behind the three point line. Brown has averaged 36 percent from the floor this season, but in both of Temple’s last two meetings, Brown has shot over 50 percent.

Women’s basketball faces tough road test at Duquesne

Coming off a heart-breaking two-point loss to VCU in its Atlantic10 Conference home opener, the women’s basketball team has traveled to Pittsburgh for an afternoon match-up today against Duquesne.

The Owls (7-9), finally putting a six-game losing streak behind them, played very well in the two games leading up to their bout with VCU, beating Western Michigan 68-41 and St. Bonaventure 67-59 to win back-to-back games for the first time all season.

However, the short-lived winning streak was put to an end when senior center Victoria Macaulay failed to send the game into overtime after missing freshman forward Sally Kabengano’s put-back as time expired. It was a loss that coach Tonya Cardoza called “tough to swallow.”

Things will not get easier for the Owls, as Duquesne will enter the game 13-3 overall and 2-0 in A-10 play. The Dukes are also 7-1 at home. Today will mark each team’s third in-conference game.

Duquesne presents a well balanced offense, beginning with junior forward Wumi Agunbiade, who is averaging 13 points and eight rebounds per game. Freshman guard April Robinson averages ten points per game, while senior guard Jocelyn Floyd does a little bit of everything for the Dukes. Floyd averages nine points per game, leads the team with a .496 field goal percentage, is second on the team in rebounding averaging seven boards per game, is first on the team in assists averaging almost three per game, and is first in steals with 84 total.

Temple, which is just 2-7 on the road, will look to sophomore guard Rateska Brown for another strong shooting performance, coming off a career-high 22 points in the loss to VCU. Sophomore point guard Tyonna Williams, who had issues protecting the basketball throughout much of the season, has just three turnovers the last three games. Macaulay going up against Agunbiade in the paint, two very capable centers, will be a match-up that may determine the outcome of the game.

Temple at Duquesne will tip-off at 2 p.m. in Pittsburgh, Pa.

-Tyler Sablich

Macaulay earns A-10 Co-Player of the Week honor

Senior center Victoria Macaulay notched her first Atlantic 10 Conference Co-Player of the Week award this season.

The Staten Island, NY native averaged 22.5 points and nine rebounds in the Owls (7-8, 1-0 in A-10) first two wins of 2013, helping to snap their six-game skid and kick off conference play on the right foot. Her 23-point, 12-rebound performance against St. Bonaventure was her seventh double-double this season.

Macaulay also has two Big 5 Player of the Week awards to her credit this season while sophomore guard Rateska Brown earned the A-10 award on Dec. 3.

St. Joe’s redshirt-senior center Chatilla van Grinsven was named the Co-Player of the Week after knocking down 24 points and grabbing 18 boards in the Hawks win over Richmond.

Looking ahead to Wednesday’s matchup against A-10 newcomer Virginia Commonwealth University, junior swing-woman Robyn Parks tallied her sixth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 boards against Saint Louis.

The two will take the court at Liacouras at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in an early duel of two perceived A-10 MVP favorites.

-Jake Adams

Three-point shooting key in tonight’s match-up

The women’s basketball team’s loss to Nebraska on Sunday, Nov. 11, ended a big run for the Owls. Prior to the contest Temple had made at least one trey in 100 consecutive games.

While in previous seasons the Owls thrived off three-point shooting, connecting on 31.8 percent from down town last season, this year’s squad isn’t built for long distance shooting.

The team right now has been out shot 52-17 from beyond the arc. Temple has connected on just four of those 17 attempts, shooting 23.5 percent. And only two players are responsible for those connections, sophomore guard Rateska Brown (2-for-5) and freshman guard May Dayan (2-for-4).

In two games Seton Hall, who the Owls host on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Liacouras Center, Temple has allowed their opponents to shoot 10-for-34 from down town.

While Temple relies heavily on getting the ball to senior center Victoria Macaulay, the Owls may need to find a way to open up their long-range attack to hand the Pirates their first loss of the season.

-Jake Adams