Playing at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico against the University of Utah Nov. 26, Fran Dunphy’s squad held a one-point lead against the No. 16-ranked team in the AP Top 25 poll.
The Owls let the advantage slip away, eventually losing 74-68 to the Utes. The game was an opportunity at a marquee win for Temple—the type that separates resumes when it is time to select the 68 teams for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament in March—and Dunphy’s team did not cash in for the third time against a ranked team in 2015.
Opening up play in the American Athletic Conference, the Owls squared off against No. 22 Cincinnati Tuesday at Fifth Third Arena with an another chance at a resume-boosting win against a ranked opponent.
After two made free throws from senior guard Quenton DeCosey, the Owls once again held an advantage against a Top 25 team with less than three minutes to play. This time, led by redshirt-junior guard/forward Daniel Dingle, who hit a three-point shot with 2:10 remaining and assisted on another with 1:15 left, Temple (6-5, 1-0 The American) defeated the Bearcats 77-70.
Dingle came into Tuesday’s matchup with Cincinnati averaging 3.6 points per game in Temple’s first 10 games. He broke out for a career-high 14 points to aid the Owls’ offensive attack against the Bearcats and added four rebounds and two assists.
Four Owls reached double-digit scoring totals in the win. Dingle was joined by senior guards Quenton DeCosey and Devin Coleman, who had 19 and 14 points, respectively. Junior guard Josh Brown also added 11 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Before its game against the Bearcats, Dunphy’s squad ranked No. 319 out of 346 Division I teams in field goal percentage, shooting 39.5 percent from the floor in their first 10 games.
Cincinnati’s defense held opponents to 61.1. points per game in non-conference play, ranked No. 18 in Division I, holding opponents to a 37.4 field goal percentage. Temple finished the game shooting 50 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent from behind the three-point line.
Coleman led the Owls to a 39-37 lead in the first half with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Tuesday’s game marked the first time since Nov. 20 that Coleman knocked down four-or-more shots.
The Owls are now 1-3 in matchups with ranked opponents this season. Three games left on their schedule are currently against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 poll—home matchups with Cincinnati, No. 17 Southern Methodist and No. 16 Villanova. Connecticut, who Temple plays twice this season, currently sits right two points behind No. 25 UCLA in the rankings.
With Tuesday’s win, Temple has defeated a Top 25 opponent for the ninth straight season.
Owen McCue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Owen_McCue