February 4, 2021 –
This was the first game for the Cincinnati Bearcats in 25 days. The pause ended with 63 – 60 win over the Temple Owls at the Liacouras Center. Turnovers were the main culprit as the Owls had 19 total, and capped it with a critical miscue with 4 seconds left that took away a chance to grab the lead or tie.
The Cherry and White trailed 62 – 60 after two free throws by Damian Dunn. He had three shots but missed the third. Temple got the rebound, but Jeremiah Davenport stole the ball and was fouled. He missed the first foul shot, converted the second giving the Owls a chance with 13 seconds left. The clock would down and at the four second mark the Owls wanted to get the ball to Khalif Battle. But the ball came loose, found its way over halfcourt, and out of bounds for a Bearcats possession.
“We had a play set up that they took us out of, but we could have run it from both sides,” said Temple Coach Aaron McKie. “We lost control of the ball. It was smart of them to take the ball out of our primary ball handler’s hands.”
Cincinnati missed two free throws in that last segment which gave Temple another chance, but a far away three-pointer by Battle was off the mark.
The Bearcats had a 31 – 23 lead at intermission. The Owls upped the defensive intensity in the second half and took the lead at 48 – 44 with just under eight and a half minutes to play. It appeared that Temple was ready to seize control, but the game got away.
“I thought we positioned ourselves well,” McKie said. “We got a few easy baskets and that helped. It always helps when the ball is going in. But what’s been plaguing us throughout the year is we had turnovers when we had opportunities to expand that lead. When you turn it over and those guys go down and are making plays, that puts you in a tougher situation.”
David DeJulius set a career-scoring mark for the Bearcats getting 26 points. He was 10 of 18 from the field and 4 of 11 from distance. Jeremiah Davenport scored 14 and had a game tying best 7 rebounds. Keith Williams added 15 points. At halftime they were the only players that scored for Cincinnati.
Damian Dunn led the Cherry and White with 16 points, living at the foul line where he converted 10 of 13 attempts. Jeremiah Williams scored 13 points and Khalif Battle added 10 points.
Most troubling was that 7 of the 10 Temple players in the game had at leas one turnover. The feeling is that there is a need to tighten up on offense.
“We’re focused on us,” Dunn said. “We’ve got a lot to look at, a lot to learn from, a lot to tighten up on, a lot of stuff to correct, and screws to tighten up.”
The Owls fall to 4 – 6 overall and 3 – 6 in the American. The Bearcats finally get back on the court and stand at 4 – 7, 2 – 4 in conference.
Written By: Glenn Papazian