With the shot clock winding down in the second overtime period of Temple’s 67-65 victory against Cincinnati on Saturday at the Liacouras Center, Devin Coleman dribbled the ball “five feet from the 3-point line,” according to senior guard Quenton DeCosey.
Coaxed by shouts from coach Fran Dunphy standing to his left, the senior guard took a dribble then rose up, unaware of where he was on the court, and shot the ball toward the basket. The attempt went in and tied the game with one minute, 31 seconds left.
“I didn’t even look at the shot clock,” Coleman said. “I was right on the sideline where coach Dunphy was, and I heard him say, ‘Gotta go. Gotta go.’ So I knew the shot clock was running down. I didn’t know exactly how much time I had. In hindsight, I probably should have looked, but I’m glad I was able to get it up there for it to go in.”
“I don’t know where I was,” Coleman added. “But I just knew I had to get a shot up.”
After the Owls got a stop on the defensive end, Temple had to put a shot up with the shot clock winding down once again.
Sophomore forward Obi Enechionyia’s shot grazed the front of the rim to beat the clock, but senior forward Jaylen Bond grabbed the offensive rebound—his ninth of the game—and tipped in the eventual game-winning bucket with 15.7 seconds left
“Obi shot it, and when he put it up, I just crashed the glass the best way I could,” Bond said. “And I got the rebound and put it back up.”
Another Bond offensive rebound in the first overtime period helped send the game into a second overtime.
Cincinnati junior guard Troy Caupain’s layup put the Bearcats up 60-59 with 46 seconds left. DeCosey missed a fadeaway jump shot on the Owls’ next possession, but Bond grabbed an offensive board to keep the Owls alive.
Bond missed two layups, grabbing both offensive rebounds before he was fouled on his third attempt with 10.8 seconds remaining. He made 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game, and Caupain’s shot on the other end was no good, so the two team’s played an extra five minutes of basketball.
“Just staying with the play, don’t quit,” Bond said of his mentality on the offensive rebounds. “I knew we needed that possession to win the game.
Freshman forward Ernest Aflakpui got his second-straight start for the Owls in Saturday’s contest. He came into the game with eight points and 10 rebounds in 39 career minutes.
Aflakpui totaled six points and three rebounds in 20 minutes of action against the Bearcats.
“He had a great game,” Dunphy said. “He gave us a solid 20 minutes. I’m very happy for him.”
DeCosey led the Owls in scoring with 22 points on 9-of-20 shooting. He also added three steals and a blocked shot.
DeCosey had a chance to win the game for Temple on a drive to the basket at the end of regulation, but his shot in the lane missed.
“I thought it was good,” DeCosey said. “I normally make that shot, the little floater, but it didn’t go. So we had to keep fighting.”
The Owls led for more than 15 minutes of the first half. However, Cincinatti sophomore forward Gary Clark’s tipin with five seconds left in the half gave the Bearcats a 22-20 lead at the break.
Temple controlled most of the second half as well, leading for the last 9:42 of the period before a turnover by junior guard Josh Brown and a putback by Caupain tied the game with 11.6 seconds left.
There were two lead changes and four tied scores during the 50 minutes of play. The largest lead for either team was an eight-point advantage for Temple in the second half.
“The whole week we were preparing for them our coaches told us they would have a chip on their shoulder,” DeCosey said. “We saw some clips of their coaches comments, so we knew they were going to come in tough and we had to match their toughness.”
The Owls shot 34.2 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from 3-point range on Saturday. In Temple’s 77-70 road win against the Bearcats on Dec. 29 2015, Dunphy’s squad made 50 percent of its shots, including 45.5 percent from behind the 3-point line.
“We were playing a team that is, first of all, that is a really good defensive team,” Dunphy said. “When we played them the first time, we made a lot of shots. But we know each other so well that you are not going to be as fluid with your stuff.”
Owen McCue can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Owen_McCue