Cummings hurt as Owls lose to Tulsa

A season that had been rolling along swimmingly for nearly a month for the Temple men’s basketball team hit two bumps in the road against Tulsa Saturday. Senior point guard Will Cummings came down awkwardly on his left leg in the second half after taking a hard foul, knocking him from the game, and the Owls went on to lose a double-digit lead to the Golden Hurricanes.

A season that had been rolling along swimmingly for nearly a month for the Temple men’s basketball team hit two bumps in the road against Tulsa Saturday.

Senior point guard Will Cummings came down awkwardly on his left leg in the second half after taking a hard foul, knocking him from the game, and the Owls went on to lose a double-digit second-half lead to the Golden Hurricanes.

Tulsa handed the Owls both their first home loss and first defeat in the American Athletic Conference this year. Temple is 12-5 overall, 3-1 in the American and 7-1 at home, while seeing its six-game overall win streak snapped.

Tulsa is 10-5, 3-0 and and took over first place in the American.

Cummings was diagnosed with a strained muscle and is day-to-day. The Owls held an 11-point lead with over 16 minutes to go in the second half when he was forced from the game.

“Will going out really hurt us on both ends,” said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. “We needed him in the second half, especially defensively on (Shaquille) Harrison. Our defense was really good in the first half and not very good in the second half.”

Harrison finished with 24 points and shot 12 free throws and helped key the Golden Hurricanes’ 19-1 run that swung the game.

Cummings asked to come back in the game, but Dunphy decided against using him because he had been ruled out by the training staff after the injury.

Temple hadn’t lost since transfers Jesse Morgan and Devin Coleman became eligible on Dec. 18, But Morgan shot just 1-for-17, including 0-for-13 on three-pointers, as he was held to two points though had six assists.

“You want him to shoot good shots, and he had a couple shots he shouldn’t have put in the air,” said Dunphy. “He’s a jump shooter. He took a few that were pretty deep, and it just didn’t happen for him.”

Jaylen Bond finished with his third straight double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Quenton DeCosey scored 12 points.

“We just lost focus, our defense wasn’t that great,” said Bond. “(Losing Will) was big. He’s a great leader. When things aren’t going our way, he settles us down. We were missing that in the second half.”

Added DeCosey: “Shots are going to drop. We just have to get back in the gym. We have to get focused on the next game against SMU. We can’t dwell on this one.”

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