Shawn Pastor

No. 23 Cincinnati Bearcats edge the Temple Owls 56-50 in American Athletic Conference opener on the road

The Cincinnati Bearcats started their American Athletic Conference journey in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania against the Temple Owls. The Owls have defeated the Bearcats the last three times they have faced.

The Cincinnati Bearcats have not had good luck when they have faced the Temple Owls as of late, in football and basketball. Temple has defeated Cincinnati the last three times they have faced. Wednesday night the Bearcats traveled to Philadelphia to change their fortunes against the Owls.

The first half was 20 minutes of a pure grind. It was tied at 26 at the half both teams shot under 40% from the field, Cincinnati shot 35.5% from the field and Temple shot 27.6% from the field. It was expected that these two would get into a rock fight on court. Both teams are very gritty and are almost mirror images of each other. Quadri Moore had a huge 5 points off the bench in the first half, the fan favorite forward came up big when called upon on Wednesday. Kyle Washington and Troy Caupain both had 5 points apiece during the first 20 minutes in Philadelphia.

In the second half the Bearcats were able to edge out the Owls they won the final 20 minutes 30-24. Big defensive plays by Jacob Evans and Tre Scott helped seal the deal for the Bearcats along with a big free throw makes by junior forward Gary Clark. Clark scored 7 of his game high 11 points in the second half, he also had 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Evans had 9 of his team high 11 points (tied with Clark) in the second half, he also added 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Freshman guard Jarron Cumberland made two huge threes in the second half, he had 6 points. Scott played 15 huge minutes in the second half, he had 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block and 2 steals. The redshirt freshman (Scott) is starting to be a key contributor on a consistent basis, he is a real difference maker on the defensive end.

Cincinnati won 56-50 beating Temple for the first time in the last four tries. Cincinnati moves to 11-2 overall and 1-0 in the AAC. They play their second conference game on Sunday against Tulane who is 3-10 overall and 0-1 in the AAC. The game will be on CBS Sports Network at 7 pm on New Year's Day.

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