Temple disappoints again with a draining loss to Cincinnati
(PHILADELPHIA, PA) After not playing an official game since January 10th, Cincinnati receives their second victory in three games in a 63-60 win over the Owls. Led by David DeJulius (26), Keith Williams (15) and Jeremiah Davenport (14), Cincinnati was able to stop any second half comeback with their strong defensive presence.
In the first half, it was a very back and forth game until 5 minutes left when Cincinnati then went on a 12-4 run. They went into the locker room with a 31-23 lead, and held Temple to just 32% shooting the ball (8-25). What's remarkable about that first half lead is that the Bearcats only had three players score; which ended up being their top three scorers. These three played lights out, and practically handed the Owls this loss with no supporting help.
Damian Dunn has been struggling from the field in past games, and it showed yet again today. Temples leading scorer this season shot just 3-10 from the field, yet 10-13 from the charity stripe. When Dunn was asked about his point protection today, it seemed as though getting the win was all he cared about. “It doesn’t really matter, we lost.”
Jake Forrester once again got into foul trouble, picking up two fouls within the first four minutes of the game. After sitting him the rest of the half, Jake started the second half and looked very aggressive on the offensive side. Yet again though, Forrester picked up another two fouls within four minutes of the second, and Coach was forced to sit him until the end of the game. Jake is going to have to get this fouling issue under control if he is going to contribute as this team's starting center during the next two years.
Turnovers were one of the biggest issues for the Owls today. 19 turnovers is inexcusable, especially when every single contributed to at least two of them. Selfishness and chemistry on the court is going to need to improve, and it is something that will come with experience.
After making a late push, Temple had lots of momentum and the ball down three with 14 seconds left. The Owls then forced the ball to Khalif Battle, who on the night shot just 4-14, and turned the ball over with four seconds left. The game fell in the hands of Mika Adams-Woods, who missed two clutch free throws, even when shooting 95% from the line this season. Khalif Battle got one last half court heave to send it into overtime, which hit the back rim.
David DeJulius looked unstoppable tonight, hitting tough threes, and contested layups. He also was a problem in the passing lane, finishing the night with 3 steals. He surpassed his season average of just 8.6 points per game, and needs to stay aggressive if the 2-4 Bearcats can make some noise in the conference.
One positive outlook from today's game was freshman point guard Jeremiah Williams. Although he finished the game with zero assists and two turnovers, he finished the game with 10 points on 5-8 shooting, and hit two threes, his most in a game this season. His stroke looked confident, and both of his threes came in the second half, with his 2nd one to tie the game at 56 with 2 minutes left. If he can continue improving his shooting, along with his exceptional playmaking ability, he will be a problem for opposing guards in upcoming years.
After going just 1-3 in this four game home stretch, Temple will now head to Kansas to face the 10-4 Shockers. In another conference game for the Owls, and only 2.5 games out of 4th place, this is a big game for the team's confidence going forward.