Temple 65, James Madison 53
The matchup of teacher and pupil is upon Temple coach Tonya Cardoza.
Qwedia Wallace scored 21 points and the eighth-seeded Owls beat James Madison 65-53 in the first round of the women's NCAA tournament on Sunday. The victory means Cardoza will next coach against Connecticut's Geno Auriemma, her boss for 14 seasons until last year.
``This is the story that everybody wanted,'' Cardoza said.
She's also taking a pretty good team into the showdown.
Kristen McCarthy and LaKeisha Eaddy added 15 points each for Temple (25-8), which used its defense-first philosophy to limit Dawn Evans, one of the top scorers in the country.
Evans led the Dukes (26-7) with 18 points, but missed 14 of 20 shots from the field against a defense led by Eaddy, but augmented by help from her flashing teammates all game.
``I've guarded some of the top players in the country. I knew I could minimize her impact,'' Eaddy said. ``It wasn't just my responsibility. It was the responsibility of my whole team.''
The Owls gained their first victory in the tournament since they beat Nebraska in the opening round in 2007, and earned the chance to take on the juggernaut that is UConn. The No. 1 Huskies beat Southern University 95-39 in the early game, their 73rd consecutive victory.
``We're going to enjoy this one for as long as we can,'' Eaddy said. ``We'll worry about UConn tomorrow.''
James Madison (26-7), which came in on an eight-game winning streak, fell behind early and spent the entire game trying to get back to even. The Dukes never quite got there.
``It took us the first seven minutes for us to really find our compusure, and then after that we fell into a flow,'' said Evans, who was 1 for 10 in the first half.
``It was extremely frustrating. At points we felt like we had all the momentum to almost take the lead, but good players hit good shots, and they were able to do that,'' she said.
Tarik Hislop added 14 points for the Dukes, who shot just 35.6 percent overall.
The Owls led almost throughout, and got a key basket every time the Dukes got too close for comfort in the second half. Eaddy hit a foul-line jumper to make it 50-44 with 8:57 left; Jasmine Stone collected an airball and made a stickback to give Temple a 52-46 edge with 5:28 to go; and McCarthy converted a long rebound into a critical 3-pointer with 4:32 to play.
When Evans answered the latter with a 3-pointer to pull the Dukes back within 55-51, Wallace made a three-point play, Eaddy came up with a steal and Marli Bennett's easy layin off an inbounds play essentially sealed the outcome, giving the Owls a 60-51 advantage.
``It seemed like when we got close, we had a little breakdown here or there and gave them a wide open opportunity or a second chance opportunity,'' Dukes coach Kenny Brooks said.
James Madison went scoreless for 3 1/2 minutes before Evans' driving basket with under 30 seconds to play, but by then the Owls were headed for a meeting with top-ranked UConn.
Temple led 23-19 at halftime, in part because the Dukes couldn't make any shots. Evans was 1 for 10, but did make her team's first two free throws after they missed six straight.
The Owls led 22-8 when Hislop hit the Dukes' only 3-pointer of the first half with 5:18 left. The shot, only James Madison's fifth field goal in 26 attempts, sparked an 11-1 run to end the half, during which Temple was 0 for 7 from the field with three turnovers.