Temple loses third straight game by one possession in a loss to Cincinnati
(PHILADELPHIA, PA) In senior J.P. Moorman’s last game against Cincinnati, the Temple Owls, led by Brendan Berry (17) and Jeremiah Williams (16) fell to the Bearcats 71-69.
Temple now drops to a record of 4-8 overall and 3-8 in conference, placing them second to last in the AAC. With less than five games remaining in the season, ending the year with a positive record is starting to look more and more difficult every game.
Down three with ten seconds left, the shot fell in J.P. Moorman's hands, as he bricked a three with four seconds left. Luckily for the Owls, Brendan Berry got the rebound, then fouled. He made the first one, then purposely missed the second one, which caused a turnover and the game to end.
Cincinnati had a fantastic all around game, led by Jeremiah Davenport and Mika Adams-Woods with 12 points each. Although only shooting 26% from three, the Bearcats beat the Owls in both rebounds and assists throughout the game.
Unfortunately for Temple, Damian Dunn was pulled from the matchup in the first half with a knee injury. The leadership and scoring ability the electric freshman brings to this team, and even though he returned to the game in the second, his presence was not shown finishing with zero makes on three shot attempts.
In Dunn’s absence, senior Brendan Berry stepped up, shooting 50% from three and leading the team in scoring. After not scoring more than six points in the last seven competitions, Berry tied his season high of 17. His offensive threat was finally utilized well by Coach McKie, as Berry has been more of an off ball player and floor spacer ever since his two big games earlier in the season against SMU. Shooting 8-8 from the free throw line, he became way more aggressive offensively, and got to the line as much as Damian Dunn normally does.
Throughout this game, there were many instances where Temple would go through long stretches without scoring, and it showed to affect the final score. Temple still has not defeated Cincinnati in four straight seasons, as the Bearcats just seem to have their number every game. The Owls got off to a slow start in the first, only putting up 26 of their 69 total. Being down by six, this was their fourth straight game being down at half, which all have led to losses.
This season for Temple has turned into a learning experience for all the younger players, and almost a transition year for the future.
With the team losing captains J.P. Moorman and Dre Perry, along with a key role player in Brendan Berry next season, Temple is going to experiment with lots of different rotations, especially with all the new forwards that will be getting valuable minutes. Although the team won’t have that versatile forward - center play in J.P., they will look to run their normal four guard rotation depending on the matchup.
Along with progressing their freshman and sophomore players, the gelling of key guys including Khalif Battle and Jake Forrester will make this team more competitive next season.
Coach McKie has done a great job with this team, through not only his coaching IQ but his overall passion for the game. His 18-25 record during his 1.5 years of coaching, especially during COVID times like this is solid, and he is looking to get that overall record over .500 sometime next year.
Temple is looking to end this long lasting losing streak Tuesday night at Tulsa. Even though the Golden Hurricane sit with a record of 5-4 in conference, the Owls last win came against them at the end of January, and Temple will look to have a similar result this time around.