Temple names Diane Richardson as new women’s hoops coach

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA — Temple named Diane Richardson its new women’s basketball coach on Tuesday.

Richardson went 80-66 in five seasons at Towson, including this season’s school-record 24 wins and a berth in the NIT.

She also led Towson to the NCAA Tournament in 2019, when the Tigers finished the season with a 20-13 overall record for just its second 20-win season in program history. Towson won the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament championship in 2019.

Under Richardson, Towson’s Kionna Jeter became the first player in program history to be selected in the WNBA Draft when she was drafted in the third round in 2021.

“Temple has a rich tradition of success in women’s basketball, and I am thrilled to take over this program and work hard to take it to the next level,” Richardson said.

She replaces Tonya Cardoza, who was fired in March with a 251-188 record in 14 seasons.

As the 1979 NCAA Regional Champion in the 200- and 400-meter races, Richardson earned a spot on the 1980 U.S. Olympic team but did not compete. Richardson spent time in corporate America before quitting in 1995 to coach.

“Diane is an amazing woman who has had incredible success in not just coaching, but all aspects of her life. It was her drive and passion that separated her from the other candidates, as well as her incredible success at Towson,” Temple athletic director Arthur Johnson said. “I look forward to working with her to return Temple women’s basketball to one of the top teams in the country.”

No. 14 Houston beats Temple 84-46 for 6th straight win

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HOUSTON — Fabian White Jr. had 26 points and six rebounds and No. 14 Houston scored the first 15 points in an 84-46 victory over Temple on Thursday night.

White was 11 of 18 from the field to help the Cougars (26-4, 15-2 American Athletic) win their sixth straight. The graduate senior has scored at least 20 points in three straight games.

“Once we came in at halftime and had a little sit down and realized how close we were to cutting the nets down, it just kind of took us up a little bit,” White said. “It just shows our grittiness, our defense and our culture.”

Taze Moore added 19 points, Jamal Shead had 10 points and a career-high 13 assists, and Josh Carlton finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Houston shot 53%, including 63% in the second half. It made 10 of 25 3-pointers and had a 42-18 advantage in points in the paint.

“We know what it takes to get where we want to go,” Moore said. “We have a lot of guys that are strong, that are strong minded and are willing. When you have a team that is winning like we are and that’s all together, it’s hard to beat a team like this.”

Nick Jourdain and Jahlil White each scored 10 points for Temple (16-11, 9-7). Jourdain fouled out 4 1/2 minutes into the second half after picking up his fourth foul and getting called for a technical foul. The Owls shot 31%, including 5 of 19 (26%) in the second half.

White capped the opening 15-0 run with a layup, but the Owls responded with a 14-3 spurt – cutting it two four on two free throws by Jourdain with 9:42 left in the first half.

“We came out a step slow,” Temple coach Aaron McKie said. “It could have been a number of different things. It’s what they do. They get out on you early. I thought we did a good job of fighting back into it.”

The Cougars answered with an 11-3 run, making it 29-17 on a dunk by White with four minutes remaining, and took a 33-23 lead into halftime.

Temple closed within seven to start the second half, but that was as close as the Owls would get. They went 11:18 without a field goal in the second half.

“I thought we were doing a good job of attacking and not having to settle, but you have to make shots in this game,” McKie said. “You can defend as much as you want, but you have to be able to put the ball in the basket.”

BIG PICTURE

Temple: The Owls have not beaten a ranked opponent since Jan. 15, 2020, when it topped then-No. 16 Wichita State. . Temple’s bench scored 28 points.

Houston: The Cougars extended their winning streak to six games over Temple. . Houston finished 16-1 at home this season. . The Cougars outscored Temple 51-23 in the second half. . Houston forced 20 turnovers and turned it into 27 points.

GETTING TECHNICALS

Along with Jourdain’s technical foul, Arashma Parks and Moore were each given technical fouls with 6:57 remaining in the second half. After Moore made an alley-oop off the backboard, he got into it with Parks at midcourt, with Parks pushing Moore as the officials and coaches got in the middle of the scrum before anything else could happen.

CELEBRATING THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Following the game, the Cougars celebrated their AAC regular season championship holding up the trophy to the fans and cutting down the nets. The Cougars clinched the title on Tuesday but waited to cut down the nets until Thursday.

“These guys have worked hard,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “They’ve listened. They’ve followed instructions. They believe in the culture of our program. They’ve embraced it.”

UP NEXT

Temple: Hosts South Florida on Sunday in the regular-season finale.

Houston: At Memphis on Sunday to close out the regular season.

Mnunga sends No. 12 S. Florida women past Tulane 78-69

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TAMPA, Fla. — Bethy Mununga scored 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and No. 12 South Florida pulled away from Tulane for a 78-69 victory on Saturday night.

Sydni Harvey scored 16 points and Elena Tsineke 13 for South Florida. The Bulls have won three straight following a stretch of seven postponements and one cancellation due to COVID-19 protocols.

Arsula Clark made a pair of free throws to bring the Green Wave within 69-65 with 2:48 left. But Harvey sank a pair of foul shots and Elisa Pinzan and Mununga made layups in consecutive possessions and the Bulls (13-1, 10-0 American Athletic Conference) were never threatened again.

Tulane led 21-18 after the first quarter, but Shae Leverett scored three layups in four possessions to start the second and the Bulls never trailed again. After a 30-all tie at intermission, Tsineke sank a 3-pointer and South Florida led the rest of the way.

Jerkaila Jordan scored 29 points for Tulane (14-7, 10-6). Clark scored 20 points and made all 12 of her foul shots. Dynah Jones had 12 points.

Tulane made 26 of 29 foul shots.

Tulane heads to Tennessee to face Memphis on Tuesday. South Florida travels to Philadelphia to take on Temple on Wednesday.

No. 14 USF women return after month absence, beat Tulsa

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TAMPA, Fla. — Bethy Mununga had 19 points and 15 rebounds and No. 14 South Florida played its first game in a month, beating Tulsa 67-46 on Saturday.

USF (11-1, 8-0 American Athletic Conference), which hasn’t played since Jan. 13 due to COVID-19 issues within the program, won its program-best 10th straight game including eight by double digits.

Sydni Harvey made four 3-pointers and scored 14 points for the Bulls. Elisa Pinzan had 13 points and matched a career best with six steals. The pair each had seven of the Bulls’ 19 assists. Mihaela Lazic added 10 points.

Wyvette Mayberry scored 18 points off the bench to lead Tulsa (5-9, 4-9), which is winless against the Bulls (0-9). The Golden Hurricane missed 14 of 15 from long range and finished 18-of-62 shooting (29%) from the floor.

Mununga had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the first half as USF closed on a 10-0 run for 33-20 halftime advantage. The Bulls held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

USF hosts Cincinnati on Wednesday. Tulsa, which looks to end a three-game losing streak, plays Temple at home on Wednesday.

John Chaney, Temple’s legendary basketball coach, dies at 89

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PHILADELPHIA — John Chaney’s raspy, booming voice drowned out the gym when he scolded Temple players over a turnover – at the top of his basketball sins – or inferior effort. His voice was loudest when it came to picking unpopular fights, lashing out at NCAA policies he said discriminated against Black athletes. And it could be profane when Chaney let his own sense of justice get the better of him with fiery confrontations that threatened to undermine his role as father figure to scores of his underprivileged players.

Chaney died Friday, just eight days after his 89th birthday, after a short, unspecified illness.

Complicated, cranky, quick with a quip, Chaney was an imposing presence on the court and a court jester off it, all while building the Owls perched in rugged North Philadelphia into one of the toughest teams in the nation.

“He wrapped his arms around you and made you a part of his family,” said Chaney’s successor, Fran Dunphy.

Chaney led Temple to 17 NCAA Tournament appearances over 24 seasons, including five NCAA regional finals. Chaney had 741 wins as a college coach. He was twice named national coach of the year and his teams at Temple won six Atlantic 10 conference titles. He led Cheyney, in suburban Philadelphia, to the 1978 Division II national championship.

When Chaney retired in 2006, the scowl was gone, the dark, deep-set eyes concealed behind sunglasses, and the over-the-top personality turned subdued: “Excuse me while I disappear,” he said.

He became a de facto father to dozens of his players, many coming to Temple from broken homes, violent upbringings and bad schools. He often said his biggest goal was simply to give poor kids a chance to get an education. He said the SAT was culturally biased and he joined Georgetown’s John Thompson — another giant in the Black coaching community, who died in August — in denouncing NCAA academic requirements that seemed to single out “the youngster who is from a poor, disadvantaged background.

Eddie Jones and Aaron McKie, perhaps Chaney’s two best players, were Prop 48 recruits who parlayed their Temple years into successful NBA careers. McKie is now Temple’s coach and leaned on his mentor when he had to shape the program.

“Coach Chaney was like a father to me,” McKie said. “He taught not just me, but all of his players more than just how to succeed in basketball. He taught us life lessons to make us better individuals off the court. I owe so much to him. He made me the man I am today.”

When Chaney joined Temple in 1982, he took over a program that had only two NCAA tournament bids in the previous decade and wasn’t widely known outside Philadelphia. Often, as he exhorted his team, he put himself in situations he later regretted. He was known for a fiery temper — sending a player he called a “goon” into a 2005 game to commit hard fouls. Chaney served a suspension and apologized.

In 1994, he had a heated exchange following a game against UMass in which he threatened to kill coach John Calipari. Chaney apologized and was suspended for a game. The two later became friends.

“Coach Chaney and I fought every game we competed – as everyone knows, sometimes literally – but in the end he was my friend,” Calipari tweeted. “Throughout my career, we would talk about basketball and life. I will miss those talks and I will my friend.”

In 1984, Chaney grabbed George Washington coach Gerry Gimelstob by the shoulders at halftime during a game.

Chaney, whose deep, dark eyes seemed fitting for a school whose mascot is the Owl, was intense on the sidelines. His loud, booming voice could be heard across an arena, and his near-perfect designer clothes were in shambles after most games. After an especially bad call, he would stare down referees. He once gazed at a referee for an entire timeout with a look he dubbed the “One-Eyed Jack.”

Though he seemed permanently cranky, especially during games, Chaney was often tender and funny. He loved telling stories. His postgame news conferences were sometimes more entertaining than the games that preceded them. His retirement news conference in March 2006 wasn’t about hoops but about education’s role in helping the poor and disadvantaged. They included amusing anecdotes, pokes at the school administration and playful threats to slap the mayor.

After losing to Michigan State in his last trip to the NCAA regional finals, in 2001, he was the same old John Chaney — with water-filled eyes, wearing a tie torn open at the collar and waxing poetic about another missed chance at the Final Four.

“It is something we all dream about, but very often dreams come up short,” he said. “Very often you don’t realize everything. But you have to realize that the growth you see in youngsters like these is probably the highest accomplishment you can reach.”

Temple’s style of play under Chaney’s guidance was never as pretty as that of Duke or North Carolina. Slow, patient and disciplined, his best teams rarely made errors, rarely turned the ball over and always played tough defense. Chaney was simply fearless in all aspects of his work.

He refused to load his schedules with easy teams, and instead traveled to hostile courts to play teams supposedly brimming with talent. He was outspoken about the NCAA’s recruiting rules, which he said hurt players trying to improve their standing in life.

“John Chaney was more than just a Hall of Fame Basketball coach. He was a Hall of Fame in life,” Dunphy said. “He touched countless lives, including my own.”

Chaney arrived at Temple before the 1982-83 season. sitting in one of Philadelphia’s toughest neighborhoods, Temple was the perfect match for a coach who prided himself on helping players turn their basketball skills into college degrees.

He was 50 and already had success at Cheyney State University, where he had a record of 225-59 in 10 seasons.

Chaney was born on Jan. 21, 1932, in Jacksonville, Florida. He lived in a neighborhood there called Black Bottom, where, he said, flooding rains would bring in rats. When he was in the ninth grade, his family moved to Philadelphia, where his stepfather got a job at a shipyard.

Though known as a Hall of Fame coach, he also was one of the best players ever to come out of Philadelphia. He was the Philadelphia Public League player of the year in 1951 at Benjamin Franklin High School.

A graduate of Bethune-Cookman College, he was an NAIA All-American and an NAIA tournament MVP before going pro in 1955 to play with the Harlem Globetrotters. With black players still being discriminated against in the NBA, he spent 1955 to 1966 in the Eastern Pro League with Sunbury and Williamsport, where he was a two-time league MVP.

Sasser scores 26, No. 8 Houston defeats Tulsa, 86-59

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HOUSTON — Marcus Sasser scored 26 points, Quentin Grimes added 18 points and seven rebounds and No. 8 Houston avenged its only loss with an 86-59 win over Tulsa on Wednesday night.

Sasser, who scored 18 points in the first half, finished 8 of 15 from the field, including 6 of 12 on 3-pointers. Tramon Mark had 11 points and six rebounds for the Cougars.

Houston (12-1, 7-1 American) shot 43%, including 13 of 32 on 3-pointers. The Cougars outrebounded Tulsa 52-24, which included a 25-6 advantage in offensive rebounds. Houston had a 26-7 advantage in second-chance points.

“The more you miss, we are going to send four to the glass,” Houston forward J’Wan Roberts said. “I think that wears teams out when we get two, three, four possessions back-to-back. The more we crash (the glass) and do what we have to do, we are going to get a big lead every time.”

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said the Cougars made a concerted effort to work this week on guards grabbing the defensive rebound to speed up the offensive pace.

“When you work on something and you emphasize it, it just makes you feel great when you can carry it over to the game,” Sampson said. “Our possessions have been down lately, and we made a concerted effort to play faster.”

The Cougars won their fifth straight since falling to the Golden Hurricane 65-64 in Tulsa on Dec. 29. Houston has not trailed in 114 minutes, dating back to the first half against Tulane on Jan. 9, a span of nearly three games.

“As time goes by, you should be getting better,” Sampson said. “During the basketball season, your team is a lot like an elevator. You’re either going up or you’re going down, but you’re never standing still. One of the things that our teams have been known for forever really is we get better as the season goes on.”

Brandon Rachal scored 18 points, and Keshawn Williams added 10 points for Tulsa (8-5, 5-3). The Golden Hurricane shot 37% and were 7 of 22 on 3-pointers.

“Tough, tough night for us,” Tulsa coach Frank Haith said. “That first couple minutes of the ballgame, they set the tone. They were way more tougher, physical, played faster and it showed. We just didn’t compete like you needed to compete against a team like this on the road.”

Houston used a 23-3 run over an eight-minute stretch of the first half to open up a 29-9 lead, punctuated by a 3-pointer by Sasser, who had 13 points in the stretch.

The Cougars ended the first half on a 7-0 run, capped by a dunk by Brison Gresham and took a 45-19 lead into halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Tulsa: Houston’s 86 points were the most allowed by Tulsa this season. The Golden Hurricane entered as the second-best defense in the American, allowing 60.9 points per game. Tulsa’s 19 first-half points tied for the lowest the Golden Hurricane has scored in the first half this season.

“They were very aggressive,” Haith said. “They scored in transition. They kept us off the glass. They kicked our butts.”

Houston: Sasser’s 26 points were the most a player has scored against Tulsa this season. Houston forced Tulsa into 18 turnovers, which the Cougars turned into 26 points. Houston committed 15 turnovers. The Cougars had a 32-20 advantage in points in the paint.

TECHNICALS ISSUED

Following a scrum for a loose ball less than two minutes into the second half, Gresham was issued a technical foul, and after another battle for a loose ball 10 minutes later, DeJon Jarreau and Elijah Joiner were each issued technical fouls. The teams combined for 35 fouls.

UP NEXT

Tulsa: Hosts Tulane on Saturday.

Houston: Travels to Temple on Saturday. The Cougars’ originally scheduled game against Cincinnati on Saturday was postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases and contact tracing at Cincinnati.