The Cincinnati Bearcats men’s basketball team found a way to win this afternoon in Philadelphia. A dominant second half performance helped UC pull overcome a fantastic Temple team and their raucous home crowd at the Liacouras Center.
Cincinnati’s 72-68 win improved the Bearcats to 18-3 overall and 7-1 in the American, good enough for sole possession of first place.
The Bearcats played a sluggish first half, turning the ball over eight times to Temple’s four. UC shot a dreadful .333 and lack the energy of the Owls, as they responded to the steady huzzahs of the home crowd. Temple led by as many as 14 in the first half but took a 35-25 lead into the locker room,
After shooting the lights out of the building against Tulsa on Wednesday night, the Bearcats proved unable to knock much down from beyond the arc this afternoon. Temple held Cincinnati to 3 for 18 from outside.
Cincinnati got their legs under them in the second half, shooting close to .500. Junior guard Jarron Cumberland batted his way to 18 points in the second half, 9 of which came by way of the free throw line. For the game, Cumberland posted a team-high 25 points.
Junior forward Tre Scott was the only other Bearcat in double figures, adding 13 points.
Cincinnati led by as much as 7 late in the second half but a final minute flurry by Temple made things a little too interesting down the stretch. Temple senior guard Shizz Alston Jr. buried a three-pointer with less than a minute remaining which cut the Cincinnati lead to 71-68 but the Bearcats hung on to secure the win. Alston led the Owls with a team-high 18 points.
Cincinnati has a good long break to rest its legs. The Bearcats’ next contest is on Saturday at the Fifth Third Arena, as Cincinnati plays host to the SMU Mustangs.
Check back with Down the Drive for full pre- and post-game coverage of the Bearcats’ upcoming in-conference tilt.