Temple men’s basketball gets blown out by Cincinnati

Sophomore guard Quinton Rose (left) reaches for a loose ball near the baseline during Temple's 55-53 loss to Cincinnati on Jan. 4 at the Liacouras Center. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / TTN FILE PHOTO

Temple ended the second longest home winning streak in Division I when it beat Southern Methodist, 66-64, on Jan. 10 at Moody Coliseum in Dallas.

The Owls had a chance to end the longest streak on Wednesday against Cincinnati. Instead, Cincinnati outscored Temple by 17 points in the second half to win, 75-42, at BB&T Arena on the campus of Northern Kentucky University.

The Bearcats (18-2, 7-0 American Athletic Conference), who are No. 9 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and the only undefeated team in The American, have now won 37 straight home games at BB&T Arena and Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati.

Temple (10-10, 2-6 American Athletic Conference) has lost four straight games against Cincinnati. The past three losses had been by a combined differential of 15 points.

Before Wednesday’s game, the Owls had won three of their past four games. They entered the game with the No. 45 spot in the Ratings Percentage Index and the second strongest strength of schedule.

With a 2-6 conference record, Temple is tied with East Carolina for second to last in The American. Only South Florida, which is winless in conference play, is below those two teams. Temple’s next game is on Sunday at 8 p.m. against Connecticut (10-9, 3-3 The American). The Huskies are 8-2 at home but just 1-4 on the road.

The Owls only trailed by two with seven minutes, 22 seconds left in the first half against Cincinnati. The Bearcats closed the first half on an 18-4 run. They led by as many as 31 points with 6:24 left in the second half.

Since winning the Charleston Classic in November by beating Old Dominion University, Auburn University and Clemson University in South Carolina, the Owls haven’t won three games in a row. Conversely, Cincinnati won its 11th game in a row.

The Owls’ backcourt tandem of redshirt senior Josh Brown and junior Shizz Alston Jr. each had six turnovers. Temple had 20 turnovers, leading to 24 Bearcats points. Cincinnati also had a plus-10 rebounding advantage.

Temple led for 32:12 in its loss to Cincinnati on Jan. 4. On Wednesday, the Owls led for just 3:29. The Owls shot 32.1 percent from the field in their first matchup with the Bearcats and had a worse mark on Wednesday, shooting 28.6 percent from the field.

Temple also shot 13 percent from 3-point range. No Owl scored in double figures. Sophomore guard Quinton Rose and junior center Ernest Aflakpui led Temple with seven points each. Rose shot 3-for-12 from the field.

All four of Temple’s freshmen played. Forward J.P. Moorman II grabbed a team-high six rebounds in 14 minutes. Guard Nate Pierre-Louis shot 1-for-5 from the free-throw line and 2-for-8 from the field. Forward De’Vondre Perry scored six points on 1-of-6 shooting.

Freshman forward Justyn Hamilton played in just his fifth game and had his first extended action. In 10 minutes, Hamilton shot 0-for-3 from the field, blocked a shot, grabbed a steal and collected an offensive rebound.

While junior guard Justin Jenifer didn’t score in 26 minutes, the rest of the Bearcats’ starters all scored in double figures and combined for 53 points. Senior forward Gary Clark led the team with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Kyle Washington scored 13 points and finished one rebound shy of a double-double.

Evan Easterling
can be reached at evan.easterling@temple.edu Or you can follow Evan on Twitter @Evan_Easterling Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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