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Temple's defense, Quinton Rose lift Owls over Texas A&M at Orlando Invitational

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Temple's defense, Quinton Rose lift Owls over Texas A&M at Orlando Invitational


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Quinton Rose scored 19 points and Temple used an 11-0 second-half run to pull away from cold-shooting Texas A&M for a 65-42 victory in the Orlando Invitational on Friday.

Alani Moore II had 14 points and Monty Scott finished with 11 for the Owls (5-1), who rebounded from a seven-point loss to fifth-ranked Maryland to advance to the fifth-place game of the eight-team tournament at Disney World.

Typically, this time of year your defense is a little better than your offense, but at some point you have to start making more open shots and we certainly got some looks," Temple coach Aaron McKie said.

Texas A&M (3-3) trailed 32-18 at halftime and trimmed the double-digit deficit to 38-32 before Temple pulled away for good with help from the 11-0 surge that Moore finished with a 3-pointer to put the Owls up 51-35 with 5:46 remaining.

"Last night we hurt ourselves a lot because we didn't share the ball as much as we should have," McKie said. "We made a conscious effort to try and come out today and make one more pass and make our teammates better. I thought we did a pretty good job."

Texas A&M missed 16 of their last 17 shots down the stretch and didn't score at all in the final 2:51. The Aggies finished 13 of 58 from the field, including 6 of 33 on 3-point attempts.

Josh Nebo was the only Texas A&M player in double figures with 12 points.

"Other than the last three minutes of the second half, I thought our fight was much better," Aggies coach Buzz Williams said. "Lowest number of turnovers thus far this season, highest number of offensive rebounds this season. And I think in an unspoken way, those are byproducts of how hard we were fighting."

The takeaway

Temple: Rose bounced back after he and Owls leading scorer Nate Pierre-Louis shot a combined 4 of 23 in Thursday's loss to Maryland. Pierre-Louis, however, had another subpar game after missing all seven shots he took against Maryland and finishing with three points. The junior guard was 3 of 7 for eight points against Texas A&M, including 0 for 3 on 3-pointers.

Texas A&M: The Aggies shot 31 percent in losing to Harvard in the opening round and were even worse Friday, going 13 of 58 (22.4%).

Up next: 

Temple: Sunday's fifth-place game.

Texas A&M: Sunday's seventh-place game.

Temple falls just short of upsetting No. 17 Cincinnati

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Temple falls just short of upsetting No. 17 Cincinnati


CINCINNATI — A blocked extra-point attempt turned into Cincinnati’s decisive points. In a season full of close escapes, this one was the most unusual.

And the most meaningful, too. The Bearcats’ year of living dangerously has culminated in the American Athletic title game.

Michael Warren II ran 13 yards for a touchdown on a cold, raw Saturday night, Coby Bryant went 98 yards with a blocked extra-point attempt and No. 17 Cincinnati held on for a 15-13 victory over Temple that clinched a spot in the league’s championship game.

The Bearcats (10-1, 7-0) secured the AAC East title and remained the only unbeaten team in league play. They would host the title game if they win next week at No. 18 Memphis (10-1, 6-1), which shares the AAC West lead.

Of course, it didn’t come easy. With these ‘Cats, it never does.

“Well, I don’t know where to start,” coach Luke Fickell said. “Another one that some way, somehow, we found a way. We showed the resiliency to get it done and found a new way tonight.”

Temple (7-4, 4-3) had won four straight against Cincinnati with its dominant defense, but couldn’t get enough out of its offense until too late on a windy, rainy night with temperatures in the 30s and snow falling in the closing minutes. Receivers from both teams had trouble catching the ball, leaving it to the running games and special teams to decide matters.

Cincinnati got the better of it both ways.

In addition to Warren’s touchdown, the Bearcats blocked the extra-point try after Re’Mahn Davis’ touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Bryant gathered the ball at the right sideline, ran across the field and went untouched for two points and a 15-6 lead.

“It was amazing!” linebacker Perry Young said. “You just love to see that.”

Anthony Russo’s 16-yard touchdown pass cut it to 15-13 with 6:33 left, but his interception with 1:19 left closed it out. Russo finished 24 of 43 for 228 yarbds.

Warren finished with 106 yards rushing. Desmond Ridder played despite a sore passing shoulder that kept him out of practice early in the week and was only 9 of 25 for 62 yards.

“Des was banged up and wasn’t able to go most of the week,” Fickell said. “As the week progressed, Des showed us something. He said he could do it, he said he could go.”

The Bearcats led 6-0 at halftime on Sam Crosa’s field goals of 36 and 37 yards, the latter set up by another weird special teams play. Temple punter Adam Barry put his right knee on the ground while fielding a low snap, turning the ball over at the 6. Ridder was sacked on first down, and the Bearcats settled for a field goal.

It was the second straight game that Cincinnati failed to get into the end zone in the opening half. They trailed 10-0 at South Florida before rallying for a 20-17 win on Crosa’s field goal on the last play.

Temple missed a field goal attempt and was stopped on fourth-and-1 from the Cincinnati 18-yard line in the second half as the Owls were eliminated from the division race.

“We’ve still got a lot left to play for this season,” coach Rod Carey said. “Eight wins is a big deal, and we’ve got a bowl yet. When you look at it holistically, we’re growing this program. That’s what I told them.”

Big picture 

Temple: The Owls came in second-to-last in the AAC in rushing and lost five yards on the ground in the first half. Jager Gardner failed to get a first down on fourth-and-1 from the Cincinnati 18 in the second half.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats have struggled offensively in their last two games, a major concern heading into the final week of the regular season. The passing game failing to get into a rhythm for the second straight game. In the last two games, Ridder is 18 of 43 for 140 yards.

Seeing Blue 

Temple’s Jadan Blue set the Temple single-season record with 80 catches, topping Zamir Cobb’s mark of 74 in 2003. Blue has 923 yards receiving. He finished with 13 catches for 120 yards, his third straight game with at least 10 catches and 100 yards.

Flags galore 

Cincinnati was penalized nine times for 74 yards, including personal fouls for roughing the passer and a horse-collar tackle. The Bearcats lead the FBS in penalties.

Up next 

Temple: Hosts UConn.

Cincinnati: At Memphis. The Tigers beat South Florida 49-10 on Saturday to maintain a share of the AAC West lead and stay in contention for a third straight appearance in the AAC title game.

Nate Pierre-Louis' double-double leads Temple over La Salle

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Nate Pierre-Louis' double-double leads Temple over La Salle


Nate Pierre-Louis posted his third straight double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds as Temple narrowly beat La Salle 70-65 on Saturday.

Quinton Rose had 18 points for Temple (3-0). J.P. Moorman II added seven rebounds and six assists.

The Owls were up 36-22 at the break but La Salle charged back to close to 69-65 after trailing 67-57 with 27 seconds left. Ed Croswell had a layup and Sherif Kenney and Scott Spencer drained treys to cut the deficit to four with :02 remaining.

David Beatty and Kenney had 13 points apiece for the Explorers (1-2). Saul Phiri had 11 points.

Temple matches up against USC on the road on Friday. La Salle matches up against Murray State next Monday.