A depleted Temple roster was not enough to upset No. 19 Cincinnati on the road Tuesday night, as the Bearcats defeated the Owls 69-58.
Temple (5-10, 0-5 American Athletic Conference) was left with eight available players, as junior guard Will Cummings did not travel with the team. Cummings suffered from concussion-like symptoms during last week’s game against South Florida, but was cleared to play in Saturday’s game against Memphis when he was 2-of-6 from the field. According to the team, Cummings was resting due to the flight and quick turnaround.
With Cummings gone, freshman Josh Brown made his first career start against Cincinnati (15-2, 5-0 American Athletic Conference) as he led the team with six assists. Sophomore guard Quenton DeCosey led the Owls with 16 points.
Cincinnati won the tipoff, but a Devontae Watson steal led to a DeCosey layup and a 2-0 Temple lead. Later in the half, the Bearcats went on an 11-0 run that gave them a 21-11 lead. A late push by Temple during the final minutes of the first half, however, brought the Owls to within two going into halftime – an Anthony Lee dunk cut the lead to 27-25 with seven seconds left in the first.
The Bearcats had the advantage early in the second, extending their lead to as many as seven points early on. But the Owls crept back, and a Mark Williams three point jumper tied the game at 35-35 with 12:45 remaining in the game. After Cincinnati retook the lead, Temple went on an 8-0 run that included a Brown layup that gave the Owls a 47-45 lead.
Temple has led during the second half in every game this season, but has held on to those leads in five of its 15 games.
After the Brown layup, Temple would squander its lead and fail to regain it. The Bearcats went on a 24-13 run to close out the game, as Temple remains without a win in conference play.
The Owls will next face La Salle at the Palestra this Saturday at noon.
Avery Maehrer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AveryMaehrer.