The Cincinnati Bearcats rolled into Philadelphia Sunday afternoon to face the Temple Owls for the second time in the month of January. For the second time this month the Bearcats emerged victorious but not without a fight from the Owls. Cincinnati survived 80-76 Sunday after giving up a 19 point lead in the second half.
Cincinnati started the game off warm but with the game tied at 19 in the first half the Bearcats went on a 17-7 run over the next 8 minutes to open up their lead. Cincinnati’s popular and incredibly effective senior Justin Jackson played only 6 minutes Sunday as he sprained his ankle in the first half. The senior should be back Thursday against Louisville so remain calm Bearcats fans.
After the first half the Bearcats came out in the second half and opened their lead up to 19 points. That lead was taken away by a very hot handed Dalton Pepper from Temple who put up 33 points and 8 threes to pull the Owls back into the game. Pepper knocked down a three late to tie the game at 76 apiece. At that point the game seemed in the balance for the Bearcats, fortunately senior Sean Kilpatrick was fouled with 7 seconds to go, he proceeded to knock down both free throws giving Cincinnati the lead and the eventual win.
Kilpatrick led the team in scoring with a season high 29 points, he was 5-11 from behind the arc. Kilpatrick has found his shot again although he is still taking some questionable shots. With Jackson out someone had to step up and Shaq Thomas did just that with 15 points and 4 rebounds.
Overall it was a good game for the Bearcats, they have not been in a tight game situation like that in the waning seconds. It is concerning though they game up a 19 point lead. The Bearcats return to the court Thursday against the #12 Louisville Cardinals in the YUM! Center. All hands need to be on deck then.