Cincinnati hands Temple its 5th straight loss

Posted: January 16, 2014

CINCINNATI - Heading into Tuesday night's game against Cincinnati, Temple prepared for the Bearcats' defense, one of the stingiest in the nation at 56.2 points per game.

But surprisingly, the Cincinnati offense was what doomed the Owls in a sloppy 69-58 loss at Fifth Third Arena.

Bearcats leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick hadn't made more than one three-pointer in a game for the last six contests. But against the Temple defense, he suddenly found his touch from beyond the arc, finishing 6 of 13 from long range. He scored 23 points.

With the Owls up by 49-47 with 6 minutes, 43 seconds left in the game, Kilpatrick nailed a three-pointer to put Cincinnati (16-2, 5-0 American Athletic Conference) up for good.

The Bearcats went on a 10-0 run and Temple managed just seven points in the game's last 61/2 minutes to lose its fifth straight game.

"I'd like to think we played decent defense in the first half, but those threes really punched us right in the forehead," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.

Both teams struggled to find a rhythm for the first 20 minutes. Starting Owls guard Will Cummings did not make the trip as a precautionary measure after he suffered concussion symptoms in a Jan. 9 loss to South Florida.

His absence was obvious. The Owls (5-10, 0-5) looked off balance and confused on offense early. Temple had a season-high 13 first-half turnovers and scored a season-low 25 points in the half.

"It hurts a lot not having Will out there," said Dalton Pepper, who finished with 21 points. "He's our floor general, he plays a lot of D and he plays with a lot of heart. He brings a lot of stuff to the table, so it hurts us a lot."

The Bearcats' dismal first-half shooting (33 percent from the field) helped the Owls stay in the game early. Temple finished the half with a 10-3 run to go into the locker room down by just 27-25.

"I think there's light at the end of the tunnel," Dunphy said. "I'm proud of our guys, but we need to finish better and really show a little more toughness down the stretch, and hopefully, we're getting there."

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