By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Temple University women’s basketball team will face a big challenge as they welcome the No. 1 team in the country, Connecticut, to the Liacouras Center tonight.

Temple is having a great season. The Owls are 16-4 and 6-1 in the American Athletic Conference. They are coming off a loss though, as last time out on Sunday they lost at home to #20 South Florida, 55-51. The Owls shot just 26% from the field in defeat.

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“We just couldn’t put the ball in the hole,” Temple head coach Tonya Cardoza tells KYW Newsradio. “But I thought our guys really competed and really fought, down 14, 16 points late in the game and found a way to bring us back. We just fell short.”

Listen to the entire interview with Temple’s Tonya Cardoza:

 

That loss to USF snapped a 12-game winning streak. That’s an impressive stretch, but it does pale in comparison to the winning streak that UConn will bring to town on Wednesday night. The four-time defending national champion Huskies have won an NCAA-record 95 straight games.

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“The crazy thing about them is everyone thought that this year was going to be the year to get them,” Cardoza says. “They lost three first-team WNBA players and the guys that they had returning were role players, but now they’re superstars. Just about every one of them is on the All-American watch list. (Sophomore guard/forward Katie Lou) Samuelson is having an outstanding year, but all their guys have definitely stepped up. They’re playing even better basketball sometimes I feel like than they did last year. They are super athletic and they are really getting the job done.”

Samuelson leads the Huskies in scoring at 21.6 ppg.

Cardoza, who was a UConn assistant before taking the job at Temple nine years ago, says it is important for her team not to be intimidated by the accomplishments and reputation of the Huskies.

“That’s half the battle, right there,” she says. “Lots of times they win the game before the ball’s even thrown up.”

Cardoza talks about trying to slow down the UConn attack.

“We’re going to have to make sure that we’re bearing down and trying to limit them,” Cardoza says. “I mean, they average (85.6) points a game. So it’s going to be hard to stop them from scoring. But we’re going to have to find a way to limit them as much as possible. Then finding ways to score against them. They have some great length, some great size and they love to get out in transition. So we’re going to have to try and slow that up as well.”

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Temple and UConn get underway Wednesday night at 7:00pm.