Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Guru's College Report: Personal;Highs for Thames and Shipp Carry Temple Over Howard

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA – It was career night for Temple’s seniors Natasha Thames and Shi-Heria Shipp Thursday night at McGonigle Hall as the Owls beat Howard of the Mideastern Athletic Conference 83-58 to bounce back from Monday’s tough loss at No. 23 Syracuse.

Thames beat her own recent mark of 21 points by finishing with a game-high 24 points while Shipp, a transfer from George Washington, scored 22 to best her past personal best of 18.

The Owls (6-3) also got double figure scoring out of Erica Covile, who collected 11 points.

But the night’s work left Temple coach Tonya Cardoza with mixed feelings, in part because of the number of points the Owls, especially in the first half though they went to the break with a comfortable 49-35 advantage.

“We went to them early and ‘Tasha established a post presence I hadn’t seen from her in a long time,” Cardoza said. “When she got the ball, she just felt she could score at will, and she was looking for the ball.

‘Tasha usually is not that player that is very demonstrative and  wanting  the ball and I felt tonight she realty wanted the ball and she felt like she could dominate down there and she did.”

But then truth be told about the way things went, Cardoza will take a win but not much else.

“I wasn’t happy at all,” she revealed. “Not before the game. Not after  the game.

“Again, we want to play great basketball. To give them 35 points in the first half was just a lack of discipline on our part. I felt like we were just going through the motions on the defensive end and not focused on what we were trying to do.”

It was a measure of revenge for last year’s upset loss to the Bisons (3-7) in the nation’s capital, though many of the players are gone and former coach Niki Reid Geckeler, who starred at Georgetown, moved up the road to take over at Towson of the Colonial 
Athletic Association.

Tennille Adams, a former assistant to Father Judge graduate Joe McKeown at Northwestern, now is in charge.

Te’Shya Heslip led Howard, scoring 23 points, though she also committed 13 turnovers.

Victoria Gonzalez scored 17 points for Howard.

Of her own play, Thames said, “I definitely felt I had an advantage and felt I was a lot stronger than the post players they had. “The guards did a good job getting me the ball.

“In other games, I needed to demand the ball a lot more, so I did.”

On Sunday, Temple will host Villanova at 2 p.m. in a Big Five game that will not be what it might have been thanks to Saint Joseph’s.

The Hawks have beaten both Temple and Villanova to take strong control of the the Big Five race that has the Owls and Wildcats tied 1-1 with each having beaten La Salle.

In the world of the old Big East, Sunday’s game might have been a conference opener had not musical chairs kicked in with Temple shifted to the predominately  football portion of the old alignment known as The American.

Villanova is now part of the re-structured Big East that has the seven Catholic schools  of the former and  larger Big East plus three other schools.

   -- Mel



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