Taking the lead from her time spent at Connecticut, Tonya Cardoza has kept the Temple women's basketball team holding steady as a regular NCAA tournament participant. Now, she'll try to take the next step with the Owls: competing for a national championship.

Cardoza agreed Tuesday to a new five-year contract that will keep her at Temple until 2016.

"Tonya Cardoza's performance has been exceptional in her three seasons here, and we are very pleased to be able to reach this new agreement that will keep her in charge of our most visible women's program for the next five years," Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said.

Cardoza inherited a 21-win team when she left UConn in 2008, having served as an assistant under Geno Auriemma for 14 seasons, winning five national championships along the way. She continued the Owls' winning ways, posting 21 wins in her first season at Temple, then 24 and 25 wins over the next two years. In Cardoza's three seasons, Temple has gone 70-28.

In each of the last two seasons, Temple has been knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the second round by teams on their way to the national championship game: Notre Dame lost in the title game in 2011 and UConn won it all in 2010.

The 2011 Atlantic Ten coach of the year, Cardoza has eight players, including three starters, returning this fall. Now she is tasked with continuing the streak of eight straight seasons in which the Owls have made the NCAA tournament.

"I'm really excited about the opportunity to continue to build upon where we already are here at Temple," Cardoza said.

Contact staff writer Tim Rohan at 215-854-4550 or trohan@philly.com.