Dunn Breaks 1000 Points, Temple Falls to Cincinnati
Written by: RJ Franceschini
Photo by: Ajay Patel
Temple men’s basketball (15-14, 9-7 American Athletic Conference) fell to Cincinnati (19-10, 10-6 AAC) 88-83 in overtime at Fifth Third Arena, moving the Bearcats into fourth place.
Temple guard Damian Dunn led his team in scoring with 34 points, shooting 12-14 from the free throw line and 9-21 from the field. Dunn wasn’t as proficient in the first half, only shooting 2-7 from the field and 3-3 from the free throw line.
Dunn also surpassed 1000 career points in this game.
Defensively, Temple could not stop Cincinnati guards David DeJulius and Landers Noly II. Both led the Bearcats in scoring with 20 points each. Despite the score, Cincinnati was able to play an impressive defense against Temple, collecting 28 defensive rebounds, four steals, and two blocks.
The Bearcats were also nearly perfect from the line, shooting 28-30 in total.
Temple played this game without sophomore guard Khalif Battle, who leads the team in scoring on the season. This is the second-straight game he has missed, as the last time he played was Thursday against Wichita State.
Temple took an early lead in the game 20-14 in the first 10 minutes of the game. DeJulius took back the lead with two sets of free throws taken with 8:26 left in the first half.
After that, Temple did not reclaim the lead throughout the rest of the game.
The Owls were down by three points going into the half after sophomore forward Zach Hicks hit a three-pointer in the final seconds.
Going into the second half, sophomore guard Hysier Miller hit a fast-break three-pointer to tie the game at 37. Seven minutes into the second half, Temple went on a 6-0 run.
Cincinnati had a seven-point lead with 2:38 left in the second half, up 75-68. Dunn was able to bring Temple to within three points, and Hicks hit a 22-foot three-pointer with 20 seconds left. After the final whistle of regulation, the game was tied at 75, and the Owls were going into overtime with momentum.
However, in the final minute, Temple missed five shots, including two free throws from Jamille Reynolds in the last 35 seconds, to let Cincinnati keep a five-point lead and win the game in overtime.
Temple has only two games left of the regular season. Its next game is against UCF at the Liacouras Center on Mar. 2, 2023, at 7 p.m.