Temple finds out that Cincy's home dominance travels

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Temple finds out that Cincy's home dominance travels

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HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. -- In the 117-year history of Cincinnati's basketball program, only four players had accumulated at least 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Senior forward Gary Clark made it five Wednesday night.

"Anytime you do something at Cincinnati that Oscar Robertson did," coach Mick Cronin said, "that's pretty impressive."

Clark had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Jarron Cumberland scored 11 of his 13 in the first half to help the No. 9 Bearcats extend the nation's longest home winning streak with a 75-42 victory over Temple.

With the score out of reach in the second half, attention turned to Clark, who came into the game needing eight rebounds for 1,000. He grabbed his eighth board with 18 minutes remaining, then added two more before subbing out to a loud ovation with eight minutes left.

Clark has 1,259 points and 1,002 rebounds during his distinguished career.

"I'm really happy for him," Cronin said. "It's an incredible achievement. He's a winning player, probably the most valuable player in our conference with all the things he does."

Kyle Washington had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Bearcats (17-2, 7-0 American Athletic Conference), who won their 11th consecutive game overall and 37th straight at home while completing a regular-season sweep of the Owls.

Cincinnati is playing home games at BB&T Arena on the campus of Northern Kentucky University while its own building gets renovated.

It was the worst loss of the season for Temple (10-10, 2-6), which shot a season-low 28.6 percent and committed 20 turnovers.

"They make you run your offense differently," Owls coach Fran Dunphy said. "You have to play basketball, you have to make a cut, you have to be strong with the basketball. We drove the middle of the floor and got a number of turnovers just by not being strong enough with the ball."

The Bearcats won the first meeting 55-53 on Jacob Evans III's jumper with a second left on Jan. 4 in Philadelphia. This one wasn't even close.

The Owls scored the first five points of the game, then went scoreless for nearly five minutes. It was one of two Temple scoring droughts that approached five minutes in the first half.

"I'm really happy with how we played tonight," Cronin said. "We were more aggressive with on-the-ball and pick-and-roll defense. We started playing downhill."

The Bearcats had runs of 7-0 and 10-0 and led 35-19 at halftime. Temple shot 2 of 12 from 3-point range in the first half and committed nine turnovers.

Cincinnati kept rolling in the second half. Clark had a 3-pointer and a dunk to put the Bearcats ahead 60-30.

"We turned it over 20 times overall, but some of that was obviously late in the game," Dunphy said. "You have to hang your head a little bit and say we have to do better and learn from it."

Quinton Rose and Ernest Aflakpui each scored seven points for the Owls.

Top town
Cincinnati and No. 8 Xavier are both ranked in the top 10 this week, the first time since 1958 that the crosstown rivals have been in the top 10 simultaneously. The Musketeers played at home earlier Wednesday and defeated Marquette 89-70.

Rising
The Bearcats have been ranked in the AP poll for 27 consecutive weeks, the longest streak during Cronin's tenure and the sixth-longest streak in school history. The No. 9 ranking is the highest for the Bearcats since 2013-14.

Two grand
The previous Bearcats player to reach 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his career was Robert Miller in 1979.

Big picture
Temple: The Owls trailed by as many as 34 points. The largest deficit the Owls previously had faced this season was 23 points in an 84-66 loss on Dec. 22 at Georgia.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats are 11-0 this season at BB&T Arena after going 18-0 last season at Fifth Third Arena, which is undergoing an $87 million upgrade. Temple was the last team to win at Cincinnati, a 77-70 victory on Dec. 29, 2015.

Up next
Temple: The Owls host UConn on Sunday.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats play at Memphis on Saturday. They defeated the Tigers 82-48 on Dec. 31 at BB&T Arena.

Rare Dunphy outburst costs Temple

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Rare Dunphy outburst costs Temple

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Stuck in a losing streak and clinging to a two-point lead over a Top 25 team, perhaps Temple coach Fran Dunphy should have taken a swig out of a water bottle instead of taking a swing at one.

Angered over an offensive foul whistled against the Owls, Dunphy -- who would rarely be confused with his Hall of Fame predecessor John Chaney for furious outbursts -- smacked the bottle on the scorer's table and the plastic container soared onto the court.

Dunphy was whistled for a technical -- and No. 19 Cincinnati pounced.

The Bearcats took the lead off the T, then capped their rally when Jacob Evans III hit the winner with .4 seconds to play to send the Bearcats to a 55-53 win over Temple on Thursday night.

"I'm usually pretty good at grabbing the bottle," Dunphy said. "I fumbled it and it went on the court. One official came from the other side and said, `I have to call it.'"

Dunphy clearly didn't mean to send the bottle to a landing spot just shy of midcourt. But his open-hand slap with 2:20 left turned the tide toward the Bearcats.

"That's not my style," Dunphy said. "I don't get technical fouls. I don't want players getting them and I shouldn't be getting them either."

Cincinnati forward Gary Clark made one of two free throws off the technical to cut the Bearcats' deficit to one. Kyle Washington put the Bearcats ahead 52-50 on a 3-pointer off a loose ball rebound from Clark's miss.

Alani Moore II scored three straight points for Temple that tied the game at 53-all.

Evans hit the jumper from a step inside the top of the 3-point arc over Josh Brown in the final second to win it.

"I just tried to use my size and get a shot up on the rim," Evans said. "Everybody's watching. It's a nationally televised game. That should be enough juice there. If people want to get to the next level, you've got to perform every night."

Washington led the Bearcats (13-2, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) with 18 points and Evans had 14.

Obi Enechionyia led the Owls (7-7, 0-3) with 14 points. The Owls have lost four straight games.

Temple got nothing from leading scorer Quinton Rose (16.5 points) in a game where they seriously needed his production against one of the top teams in the AAC. He missed his first five shots and didn't score until there was 5:05 left in the game. De'Vondre Perry's jumper with 8:15 left had stretched Temple's lead to 46-38 and Rose's bucket kept the lead at 50-43 and that coveted victory over a Top 25 team remained in its sight.

But there were several wasted chances for Temple.

The Owls were set to jog to the locker room with a five-point lead until a review confirmed that J.P Moorman II fouled Trevon Scott with .1 seconds left. Scott hit both to trim Temple's lead to 29-26 at the break.

The Bearcats had averaged 80.9 points a game and averaged eight 3s but were stymied by a Temple defense that helped force 13 turnovers in the first half and limited them to two 3s.

"I told them at halftime, `You don't put on your boxing gloves and it's going to get worse," Bearcats coach Mick Cronin said.

Big picture
Cincinnati: G Cane Broome (9.8 points) sat out with an injured ankle. ... The Bearcats finished with only three 3-pointers and shot only 39 percent overall from the field.

Temple: The Owls have started the same five players in every game. ... Temple shot 27 percent in the second half. ... Temple has a streak of 10 straight seasons with a win over a Top 25 team.

Ticket swap
Temple offered a ticket exchange for fans unable to attend the game because of inclement weather. There were maybe 1,000 fans at the Liacouras Center.

Up next
Cincinnati returns home to play against SMU on Sunday.

The Owls play two straight on the road, starting Sunday against UFC and Jan. 10 at SMU.

Temple holds off Cincinnati to keep bowl hopes alive

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Temple holds off Cincinnati to keep bowl hopes alive

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CINCINNATI -- Temple was able to keep its bowl hopes alive and make its senior class the most successful in school history.

Junior Frank Nutile threw for one touchdown and ran for other, Isaiah Wright had a 98-yard kickoff return and Temple kept its bowl hopes alive with a 35-24 win over Cincinnati on Friday night.

"We would rather die out there than let our seniors down," Nutile said.

With two games left, the Owls need one more victory to become bowl eligible. One more win and the senior class will be the best all-time.

"Our seniors are special. I'm lucky I got to be their coach," first-year coach Geoff Collins said. "They've gone through a lot with this program. A lot of them had to wait their turn."

The Owls (5-5, 3-3 American) held off an inspired second-half effort by Cincinnati (3-7, 1-5) to get the win.

Hayden Moore threw a 29-yard pass to Thomas Geddis and Mike Boone had 28- and 21-yard runs on consecutive plays to make it a one score game with 7:40 left in the third quarter but Wright took the kickoff back 98 yards to separate the Owls from the Bearcats. Wright then threw a two-point conversion pass to Nutile on a trick play.

"For the first time I told the guys I'm disappointed with the way we coached; disappointed with the way we prepared the," Cincinnati's first-year coach Luke Fickell said. "It is baffling to me. The defense can play really well in the first half and have really big stops in tough situations. The offense doesn't move the ball in the first half. In the second half it completely flips. We have to find a way to break through some of this stuff."

Nutile completed 19 of 30 passes for 224 yards.

"He studies film and works hard," Collins said. "You could see it on several key plays tonight. He is a great kid."

David Hood's one-yard run midway through the second quarter gave Temple a 13-0 halftime lead. Hood was Temple's leading rusher with 89 yards on 19 carries.

Hood has spent most of the season backing up Ryquell Armstead.

"I look at myself as the No. 1 back every week," Hood said. "Our offense really came together tonight."

Cincinnati had a 76-yard punt return called back for an illegal block in the back and fumbled to set up one of Aaron Bourmerhi's two first half field goals.

Hayden Moore completed 20 of 36 passes for Cincinnati and was the leading rusher with 75 yards on 11 carries.

Takeaways
Temple: Ventell Bryant moved into eighth place on Temple's all-time list for receptions with 117. His 62 yards r and yards receiving also put him eighth on the list with 1,721. . With the win, Temple's seniors tied the team record of 31 wins by a class. ... The Owls faced two triple option offenses in a row before coming to Cincinnati. Army rushed for 248 yards on Oct. 21 but they held Navy to 136. Cincinnati split the difference with 184 yards rushing.

Cincinnati: Luke Fickell and Geoff Collins are both in their first season as head coach. Both were on the defensive coaching staff at Alabama for the 2007 national championship season. . Cincinnati has lost nine of its last 10 AAC games.

Up next
Temple will host Central Florida at noon on Nov. 18. The undefeated Knights will be the final home opponent for the Owls, who need one more win to be bowl eligible.

Cincinnati will travel to East Carolina on Nov. 18 at a time to be determined. The Pirates and Bearcats are at the bottom of the AAC standings.