Having not won more than two games in a row and coming off a two-point loss to Memphis, the Owls were looking to beat Cincinnati for the second time this season and get back on the winning track.
While the Owls would do just that, it would not be the prettiest of efforts. Temple would pick up its ninth win of the season with the help of a put-back by Jaylen Bond with 16 seconds remaining in the second overtime period surviving a scare from the Bearcats.
“He was great,” Temple Coach Fran Dunphy said of Bond. “He had a couple of great stick-backs for us, but that’s what he does. He’s a defender, rebounder.”
“Our coaches were telling us they’re going to have a chip on their shoulder,” DeCosey said “We knew they were going to come in here tough and we just had to match their toughness.”
Despite building a seven-point lead in the first half, the Owls would allow the Bearcats to score the final six points of the half and head to the locker room down 24-22.
Temple would again lead for much of the second half, taking an eight-point advantage with 6:48 remaining in the game, only to see it slip away yet again. With just 11 seconds remaining in regulation, Troy Caupain would tip in his own miss to knot the game at 56-56 and force overtime.
Devin Coleman would knock down a three with 3:50 remaining in the first overtime period to give the Owls a 59-56 lead, but Cincinnati would narrow the deficit to just one after two free throws by Octavius Ellis. A layup from Caupain with 46 seconds remaining would then give the Bearcats a one-point advantage.
Jaylen Bond would get the offensive rebound on a Quenton DeCosey miss with 15 seconds left and proceed to get his own rebound on two ensuing missed layup attempts before drawing the foul with just 10.8 seconds remaining. Bond would make the first free throw to tie the game at 60-60, but would be unable to sink the second shot, as the two teams headed to a second overtime period.
After falling behind by three with just 1:58 remaining in the second overtime period, the Owls seemed all but destined to pick up their eighth loss of the season. Coleman would knock down a long three just 27 second later, however, tying the game at 65-65.
With time running down, it would be Bond who would come up big yet again on the offensive glass, grabbing the rebound on a miss by Obi Enechionyia and getting the tip-in with just 16 seconds left to put the Owls up 67-65.
Temple would then force a turnover on a back-court violation and Josh Brown would draw a foul with just more than a second remaining. Brown would miss both free throws, but Temple would hold on for a 67-65 win, improving to 9-7 on the season and 4-2 in conference play.
“I feel like we have a good enough team to compete with anybody,” Bond said. “When games get close toward the end, we just have to focus. Abide to the team concepts and come out with wins.”
DeCosey led all scorers with 22 points, while Coleman added 15 points in the win. Bond would finish with nine points and 12 rebounds (nine offensive), coming up biggest when it mattered the most.
“We’re getting more (consistent),” Dunphy said. “We’re getting better. We’re getting better every game.”
Temple will be in action next on Wednesday, when the Owls face off against La Salle at the Palestra.
By: Kyle Babcock
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