February 12, 2021 –
The Temple Owls found themselves in Cincinnati to play the Bearcats in a game scheduled 48 hours before tip. The Owls fell behind, kept coming back, and had a chance at the end. But the result was a 71 – 69 loss to the Bearcats. The Owls have been on the short end of a one possession game for the third straight time.
“These losses hurt, every last one of them,” said forward De’Vondre Perry. “We’re battling throughout the game and have to take care of every possession from the beginning of the game to the end. We know these games are going to be close, so it’s about each possession. Win the possession, that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Temple fell behind early and were behind by 32 – 26 at halftime. The deficit stayed level. With just over 7 minutes remaining to play Owls guard Brendan Barry began to find his scoring touch getting 10 straight Temple points to pull the team to within 53 – 50 at the 5:45 mark. Barry would go on to score 17 points all in the second half. The Bearcats pulled away again with an 8 – 2 run.
The game trend continued as the Owls got back to within 68 – 66 one two Barry free throws as one minute showed on the clock.
Cincinnati got a free throw from Mason Madsen one second later. Temple answered as Jeremiah Williams scored with 11 second to play. Madsen got two more free throws for a 71 – 68 lead. The Owls had a chance, but missed a three-pointer.
“We dug a hole for ourselves in the first half and were playing from behind throughout,” Temple Coach Aaron McKie said. “They got some separation, but we kept fighting. Those guys converted when they needed to.”
Barry got fouled with less than a second to play. He made the first, but tried to miss the second, but was called for going over the line to end that last chance for the Cherry and White.
“We still had an opportunity with the ball in our hands to at least tie the game,” said McKie.
Three other Temple players scored in double figures. Williams netted 16 points and handed out 4 assists. He stole the ball twice. Khalif Battle contributed 11 points. Perry scored 10 and pulled down a team-high 8 rebounds and had 2 steals.
Two players for Cincinnati broke double-digits. Jeremiah Davenport and Mike Adams-Woods posted 12 points each. Nine of the eleven Bearcats who played scored at least 4 points. Center Chris Vogt made the biggest impact by clogging the middle and blocking 6 shots.
The series between these teams had a set of firsts. The February 4th game was the first game in over a month for Bearcats who won 63 – 60. The game today was their first home game in 41 days. Both games were reschedules. Temple had a home-and-home series with ECU scheduled. That was postponed. Cincinnati was to play Memphis, and that, too, was postponed. So both teams had an opening and found themselves facing each other.
Written By: Glenn Papazian