SALT LAKE CITY -- Temple coach Tonya Cardoza had some good advice during her first timeout in Saturday's NCAA tournament opener against Arizona State.
"Coach just told us to breathe," Owls guard Shey Peddy said.It worked, as Temple overcame a 7-2 deficit and went on to a 63-45 win -- the Owls' largest-ever margin of victory in the NCAAs.
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"We settled down, made some baskets and played our game," Peddy added.Victoria Macauley scored 12 points and Peddy set a school steals record to lead 10th-seeded Temple over No. 7 seed Arizona State.The win avenged a 2008 first-round loss to the Sun Devils and marked Temple's first win in four tries against Arizona State. It also halted a streak of six straight opening-round victories for the Sun Devils.The Owls (24-8) will face Notre Dame in a second-round matchup Monday night.The key was Temple's zone defense, which held ASU to 30.9 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers.The Sun Devils also shot just 2 of 15 from beyond the arc."After watching film, we knew they weren't a good 3-point shooting team," said Cardoza, the Atlantic 10's coach of the year. "Playing zone isn't something we do a lot but sometimes you need to adjust to your opposition. I definitely think our zone frustrated them and they didn't get all the looks they wanted. The zone worked for us."Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne was worried that her Sun Devils would forget to pack their offense.After starting the game 3 for 3, the Sun Devils missed their next nine shots and 14 of the next 15. ASU's bench missed all 15 shots it took."Our bench was 0-for-ever and we rely on our bench," Turner Thorne said. "We are like dominoes. We are all good or we are all bad."Macauley proved she can do more than play defense."I am not an offensive-minded player. Defense comes first for me," Macauley said. "But my teammates saw I was on a roll today and they got me the ball."Kristen McCarthy and Peddy both had 10 for Temple, while Natasha Thames added eight points and seven rebounds off the bench."Vic and Tasha came up so big for us," Cardoza said. "If they played like that all season, we'd be unstoppable. Vic was making jump shots and being aggressive. They weren't expecting that. Shucks, I wasn't expecting that. But I knew they are capable of that."Kimberly Brandon led ASU (20-11) with 11 points, while Becca Tobin added 10 and eight rebounds. Tobin made 5 of 9 shots, while her teammates were a combined 12 of 46.Peddy had seven rebounds and six steals to become Temple's single-season steals leader with 101. Jen Ricco held the previous mark of 96 set in 1998.The Owls are making their eighth straight NCAA appearance. Last year, they advanced to the second round only to lose to eventual champion UConn 90-36.On Saturday, Temple led by as many as 14 points in the first half thanks to three ASU scoring droughts."The gravity of this game combined with us just stinking it up on offense led to a lot of frustration," Turner Thorne said."We're never a pretty team to watch, but we usually fight through it and that was disappointing. We just couldn't make a shot. You can't win in the NCAA tournament shooting in the 20s. ... We didn't have it today. We got some open looks but we missed bunnies. But Temple is a good team. You don't have much of a margin for error and I think it got to us after a while."