Bearcats Top Temple 80-76, Lose Justin Jackson In The Process

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Bearcats talisman went down midway through the first half, and didn't return. Even without him the Bearcats played arguably their best offensive game of the season. But his loss was deeply felt as the Cincinnati defense collapsed in the second half and Temple made it a game.

That the Owls could even make it a game comes down to one person. Dalton Pepper. Pepper got scorching hot in the second half from three point land and single handedly dragged the Owls back into the game going 7 of 8 from deep at one point. The Bearcats simply couldn't find an answer for Pepper who was fed a steady stream of open looks by the conveyor belt that opened to the rim. The Bearcats defense would collapse on the ball, as it should, but the rotations weren't fast enough to stop Pepper.

In the past that collapse would have been the end of the Bearcats. But that wasn't the case today as the Bearcats offense hit another gear in the second half. Troy Caupain was outstanding in the final half leading the offense and getting the ball in the hands of the right guys.

The win is great, but it comes with a dark cloud. Justin Jackson was hurt, and hurt enough not to come back into the game. No one knows the extent of the injury, but if he is out for an extended period this really promising season could go off the rails.

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