Temple Eliminated By UCF In The Inaugural American Championship

#9 Seed UCF Knights 94   #8 Seed Temple Owls 90  2 OT

AAC MBB 2914The Temple Owls survived at the end of regulation and at the end of the first overtime, but fell in double overtime 94 – 90 to the UCF Knights in the first round of the American Championship in Memphis.  UCF had a chance to win in regulation as guard Isaiah Sykes hit what appeared to be the winning shot at the buzzer.  However, he was late getting it off.  At the end of the first extra period Sykes, again, had the last shot that was short sending the game into the second additional stanza.  There, UCF survived getting the game winning points on free throws by forward Tristan Spurlock with 10.1 seconds on the clock.

Temple finished the season with a 9 – 22 mark.  The Owls were led in scoring by sophomore guard Quenton DeCosey who had a career-high 28 points.  Junior guard Will Cummings had 25 points and 9 assists.  Guard Isaiah Sykes scored a career-high and AAC Tournament record 36 points.

The key segment of the second overtime came with 2:06 to play when Sykes scored on a jumper giving UCF an 87 – 84 lead.  On the next possession the Owls went to the basket, but were turned away on 2 blocked shots by Spurlock and a missed layup by center Anthony Lee.  Kasey Wilson of UCF converted 2 foul shots to give his team a 5-point advantage with 1:11 to play.

Undaunted the Cherry and White fought back on a traditional three-point play by Cummings to cut the deficit to 89 – 87.  DeCosey swished a three-pointer after the Spurlock foul shots to get Temple to within 91 – 90, but the Owls got no closer.  After 2 more from the charity stripe by Calvin Newell gave the Knights a 3-point lead, Dalton Pepper looked to tie the game, but he was fouled before getting his shot off from beyond the arc with 2.4 seconds left ending Temple’s chances.

This was a tight game throughout with five-points being the largest lead in the overtimes.  UCF had an effective 14 blocked shots.  The free-throw shooting was less than spectacular on each side.  The Owls 13 of 26 while the Knights were 19 of 32.

Lee and Pepper were the other Temple players to score in double-figures with 17 and 24 points.  Spurlock contributed 19 points for UCF who moves on to face the top-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats.



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