Movin' On Up

Temple closed the regular season with a two-game winning streak when Quenton DeCosey's buzzer-beating jumper gave the Owls a 66-65 win at South Florida. The win moved the Owls up two spots in the American Athletic Conference Tournament which begins Wednesday at Memphis.

It took all season, but the Temple men's basketball team finally found a way to be the team that came from behind to win at the end.

The Owls started the season holding second-half leads in the first 15 games – and only posted a 5-10 record. But on Saturday, Temple closed the regular season with a two-game winning streak when Quenton DeCosey's buzzer-beating jumper gave the Owls a 66-65 win at South Florida.

Temple is 9-21 overall and 4-14 in the American Athletic Conference, while the Bulls fell to 12-19, 3-15.

"You want to get it to (point guard Will) Cummings because he has so much speed and quickness to get it up the floor," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "We had a similar situation against UCF Tuesday and Will took it to the rim and got blocked, and earlier this year against Cincinnati Will gave it up to Josh Brown (who got blocked).

"You take your chances and you get lucky. DeCosey got himself open, had one bounce in him and made a very athletic play. We were very fortunate to win the game."

The win moved the Owls up two spots in the American Athletic Conference Tournament which begins Wednesday at Memphis. Temple is the eighth seed and will face No. 9 Central Florida, which it beat Tuesday in overtime as the Knights competed with their best player, Isaiah Sykes, who was out with injury.

It is the first two-game winning streak since winning three straight between Nov. 22 and Dec. 4.

"You feel good about the fact that there's some credibility your team has in keeping their mind in the game," said Dunphy. "We hope our mindset is good enough at this point."

Central Florida led by 18 with nine minutes to go, but the Owls staged a furious comeback behind Dalton Pepper and Cummings, who scored 25 of Temple's final 28 points. Temple used runs of 9-0 and 13-0 to get back into the game.

"You can't get it back in one fell swoop, you have to chip away," said Dunphy. "Winning and losing is so fragile. It was just our day today."

DeCosey, who played all 40 minutes, answered Chris Perry's putback with 4.6 seconds left that put Central Florida ahead by a point. The sophomore finished with 18 points.

Pepper scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Cummings added 14 points and a career-high eight assists.

Temple got more good news Saturday when Cincinnati won a coin toss with Louisville for the No. 1 seed after they shared the conference title. The Owls would play Cincinnati if they beat South Florida, and while they are 0-4 against the Bearcats and Cardinals, they were much more competitive against Cincinnati.

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