Four days after finding out it was the first team out of the NCAA Tournament, Temple passed the eye test Wednesday by battling to a 73-67 win over Bucknell in the first round of the NIT.

Turning point
With Temple trailing, 52-51, with 11:10 left in the second half, Will Cummings took over the game for the Owls. The senior point guard scored nine of the Owls’ next 11 points. Temple pushed its lead to 62-55, and never surrendered the lead despite Bucknell getting within two.

Big man on campus
In what could have been his final college game, Cummings turned in his best one yet.

Cummings finished with 30 points, one point shy of his career high. His 30 points were the most by any Owl this season. He did so on 9 of 14 shooting, 3 of 4 from three-point range and 9 of 9 from the charity stripe. He added seven rebounds, one assist and one steal too.

Inside the box score
• Bucknell began the game on a 6-0 run before Temple responded with a 14-0 run of its own. The first half featured five lead changes, and it ended with the game knotted, 35-35. Overall, there were 11 lead changes in the game and the largest lead was eight points — Temple.

• Cummings accounted for 41 percent of Temple’s points.

Wednesday was the 35th meeting between the two teams. The win was Temple’s 11th straight over the Bison, and it leads the all-time series, 30-5.


Up next
Temple moves on to the next round to face No. 5 George Washington Sunday (11 a.m./ESPN). On Tuesday night, GW advanced by knocking off Pittsburgh, 60-54.

Bucknell’s season is over.