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PHILADELPHIA - After playing six games on the road in the last month, the Temple women's basketball team finally returns home for a game against Western Michigan (4-8) at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7 at the Liacouras Center. It will be the final test for the Owls (5-8) before Atlantic 10 Conference play begins on Jan. 13 at St. Bonaventure.
THE OPENING TIP
•After a six-game road swing over 36 total days, the Owls finally returns home against Western Michigan...The road stretch was not a good one for the Owls, who lost all six games dating back to Dec. 6.
•Temple has lost six straight and gave up a big lead in its most recent loss...The Owls led Howard by 17 points with 13 minutes left in the game, but scored just one field goal the rest of the way and lost 61-58.
•Redshirt junior Natasha Thames
hit 7-of-8 from the field and 5-of-7 at the line en route to leading Temple with a career-high 19 points at Howard.
•Sophomore Tyonna Williams
scored a career-high 18 points at Georgetown, hitting a career-high five three-pointers (5-of-8).
•As a team, the Owls hit a season-high 11 three-pointers at Georgetown, and had a lead in the final five minutes before giving the Hoyas too many opportunities at the free-throw line.
•Four of the Owls' recent losses were to teams with strong records, Georgetown (9-4), Michigan State (12-1), Villanova (9-1) and Auburn (8-2)...The first of the recent six losses was at Kent State, a team that had come into the game with a record of 0-7.
has recorded six double-doubles which ranks second among all players in the Atlantic 10...Her most recent double-double was 12 points and 10 rebounds at Michigan State on Dec. 29.
•Prior to Dec. 6, the Owls had back-to-back impressive wins, over eight-time defending MAC champ Bowling Green (70-56), and previously undefeated Syracuse (74-67)...The Orange were receiving many votes in both national polls prior to the game.
•Fifth-year head coach Tonya Cardoza
has a record of 98-46 and is just two wins away from reaching the 100-win milestone.
•Turnovers have proven costly for the Owls, who have committed over 20 of them in eight of 13 games...In the 2011-12 season, Temple committed more than 20 turnovers a total of just four times.
•Temple has six freshmen on a roster of 11, making the Owls the second-most inexperienced team in NCAA Division I women's basketball this season (San Jose State is in the top spot).
•Western Michigan is 4-8 overall, and has not played since a Dec. 28 loss at UIC by a score of 66-58...Arielle Anderson and Corie Buchanan lead the Broncos, averaging 9.5 and 9.4 ppg, respectively.
SCOUTING WESTERN MICHIGAN
The Broncos are 4-8 heading into the game at Temple, but have not played since a Dec. 28 loss at UIC by a score of 66-58. WMU started the season at 2-6 but has now won two of its last four contests. Arielle Anderson and Corie Buchanan lead the team with 9.5 and 9.4 points per game, respectively. Head Coach Shane Clipfell is in his first season with the program, taking over a team that finished 8-22 last year.
ALL-TIME SERIES VS. WESTERN MICHIGAN
Temple has won all three games against the Broncos, including a 64-52 win on the road on Jan. 2 of last season. The previous two contests were in 2007 and 2006.
TWO BIG WINS LOOKING BETTER AND BETTER
Two of the Owls' wins this season, which were big even at the time, are looking better and better as the season goes on. Temple defeated Syracuse on Dec. 6 to hand the Orangewomen their first loss, and it remains the only loss for Syracuse, now 13-1 as of January 5. Temple also defeated Bowling Green on Nov. 28, a team that is now 9-4 and recently handed #14/15 Dayton its first loss of the year by a wide margin, 65-40.
LOSS AT HOWARD A GAME OF CONTRADICTIONS
Temple's recent 61-58 loss at Howard on Jan. 4 was a tough one, as the Owls held a lead of as many as 17 points with just over 13 minutes remaining. Temple shot a season-best 59.1 percent from the field in the first half (13-of-22), but a season-worst 25 percent in the second half (6-of-24). The Owls' 36 first-half points were a season-high, as was their eight-point halftime lead.
As of the latest RPI report from rpiratings.com, Temple's schedule is the sixth-toughest among all NCAA Division I teams. Other teams in the top six include Stanford (2nd), Connecticut (4th) and Tennessee (5th).
COMEBACK FALLS SHORT AT MICHIGAN STATE
After trailing by as many as 15 points to Michigan State on Dec. 29, the Owls made a run down the stretch to narrow the gap to as few as six points after an 8-0 run. Freshman Meghan Roxas
came up huge off the bench, hitting three shots from behind the arc for a career-high nine points. Her final trey with two minutes remaining turned out to be the last bucket for Temple, while the Spartans went 4-of-4 at the line in the final minute to hold off the Owls.
MACAULAY TAKING CHARGE
Along with leading the team in a number of categories on the stat sheet, senior center Victoria Macaulay
ranks in the top five among all Atlantic 10 players in six areas. She is averaging 14.6 ppg (5th), 9.5 rpg (5th), has a field-goal percentage of 50.7 (5th), has 1.9 blocks per game (3rd), 7.3 def. rpg (2nd) and has played 35.1 minutes per game (5th). Her numbers are particularly impressive when compared to the rest of her career. She averaged 3.0 ppg as a freshman, 4.6 ppg as a sophomore and 9.7 ppg as a junior.
It had been almost two years since Temple made more three-pointers than the 11 the Owls hit at Georgetown on Jan. 2. Against Richmond on Jan. 29, 2011, Temple hit a program-record 14 treys. The barrage against the Hoyas included 5-of-8 from Tyonna Williams
as well as three treys apiece from Meghan Roxas
and Rateska Brown
THAMES NEARLY PERFECT
On her way to scoring a career-high 19 points at Howard on Jan. 4, redshirt junior Natasha Thames
was almost perfect from the field, hitting 7-of-8.
In nine of Temple's 13 games so far this season, the Owls have scored more points in the second half than in the first. In those nine games, the Owls have scored 203 first-half points compared to 298 second-half points. They won the only game in which they were tied at halftime (vs. Montana). While a big second half was not enough to overcome deficits vs. Nebraska, Rutgers, Auburn and Michigan State, it was more than enough against Syracuse as the Owls out-scored the Orange 49-28 in the second half to erase a 14-point halftime deficit.
MACAULAY DOUBLES UP SIX TIMES
notched her sixth double-double in the Owls' loss at Michigan St. on Dec. 29. She scored 12 points to go with 10 rebounds, both team-highs. She scored a game-high 25 points to go with a game-high 13 rebounds at Kent St. on Dec. 6, and in Temple's win vs. Syracuse on Dec. 2, she scored a game-high 20 points to go with a game-high 11 rebounds. On Nov. 17 vs. Northwestern, Macaulay scored a career-high 27 points to go with 10 boards. Against Seton Hall on Nov. 14, she added 13 boards to 16 points, and in Temple's season-opening win vs. Montana, Macaulay pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds while scoring 21 points.
TURNING OVER POINTS
The Owls have struggled to handle the ball so far this season, and their opponents have taken advantage. Temple's opponents have scored 277 points off turnovers (an average of 21.3 per game) while the Owls have averaged just 12.0 ppg off opponent turnovers (156 total). After committing more than 20 turnovers just four times in all of the 2011-12 season, the Owls have now done so in eight of 13 games in the 2012-13 season.