Cincinnati stumbles in second half, loses close one at Temple to snap 3-game win streak

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Hayden Koval missed a last-second 3-pointer, and the University of Cincinnati men's basketball team fell 61-58 at Temple on Tuesday night.

The loss snapped the Bearcats' three-game winning streak and UC's winning streak against the Owls. Cincinnati had won nine straight against Temple dating back to Dec. 28, 2016.

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"It's very frustrating," said UC senior guard David DeJulius, who finished with a team-high 15 points on 4-of-15 shooting. "I feel like we had some great looks at the end. Coach drew up a great game plan. I felt like we played hard. It's tough when you go on the road like this and you feel like you did everything to prepare. ... We'll get back to work and keep going."

The Bearcats (14-6, 4-3 American Athletic Conference) shot 20-for-68 from the field (29%) and 7-of-33 from 3-point range (21%) en route to scoring a season-low 58 points. Cincinnati scored a season-high 90 points in a 90-69 win over Tulsa on Thursday.

Jeremiah Davenport fouled out with the Bearcats ahead 58-54 with 1:44 to play. Davenport, who led Cincinnati with a season-high 24 points against the Golden Hurricane on Thursday, had just nine points on 3-of-14 shooting (2-for-10 from 3-point range) against the Owls (11-6, 4-2).

Temple guard Jahlil White knocked down the second of two free throws to make it 58-55.

After a missed 3-pointer by DeJulius, Temple guard Damian Dunn knocked down a jumper with his foot on the 3-point line to make it 58-57 with 1:18 left.

After a held ball, Dunn hit a turnaround jumper over DeJulius to give Temple a 59-58 lead with 36 seconds remaining.

DeJulius was whistled for a foul on the play, and Dunn hit the ensuing free throw to put Temple ahead 60-58.

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Wes Miller talks with guard David DeJulius (5) during a timeout in the second half of the NCAA basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. Cincinnati finished its non-conference schedule with a 76-67 win over the Golden Eagles.
Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Wes Miller talks with guard David DeJulius (5) during a timeout in the second half of the NCAA basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. Cincinnati finished its non-conference schedule with a 76-67 win over the Golden Eagles.

Koval and DeJulius missed back-to-back jumpers, and Tai Strickland grabbed the defensive rebound before being fouled by Mika Adams-Woods with 14 seconds left.

Strickland knocked down the first of two free throws to give the Owls a 61-58 lead.

After Koval collected the defensive rebound with 12 seconds left, Cincinnati called a 30-second timeout to give UC head coach Wes Miller an opportunity to draw up the last shot. But Koval's 3-point attempt went begging and the Bearcats dropped their first game since losing 87-80 at Memphis on Jan. 9.

Temple closed the game on a 7-0 run.

"I don't really believe in moral victories that much, but I feel like this is something where we banded together," DeJulius said. "Without getting into details, our locker room after the game, we probably got as close after even a win as we have been in any game. We're going to use this as fuel to come back stronger and continue to work hard on the details of what Coach Wes and the coaches are trying to implement."

Cincinnati led 41-27 with 17:36 to play in the second half.

John Newman III, who left Thursday's game against Tulsa with a knee injury, had nine points and a season-high nine rebounds. Adams-Woods added nine points and Mason Madsen scored eight points off the bench.

Dunn led all scorers with 18 points – 13 scored in the second half – and knocked down a pair of free throws to put Temple ahead 52-51 with 4:13 to play. It was the first lead for the Owls since owning a 3-2 advantage early in the game.

The Bearcats went seven-plus minutes in the second half without making a field goal.

Cincinnati Bearcats guard David DeJulius (5) and Cincinnati Bearcats guard Mika Adams-Woods (23) return to the court after a timeout in the first half of an NCAA menÕs college basketball game against the Southern Methodist Mustangs, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Bearcats guard David DeJulius (5) and Cincinnati Bearcats guard Mika Adams-Woods (23) return to the court after a timeout in the first half of an NCAA menÕs college basketball game against the Southern Methodist Mustangs, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati.

After taking a 14-10 lead with about 12 minutes to play in the first half, the Bearcats missed their next 10 shots.

Fortunately for Cincinnati, Temple, who took the floor for the first time in 13 days due to COVID-19 protocol issues with their last two opponents, also struggled from the floor.

Davenport missed his first eight field-goal attempts, including an 0-for-6 start from 3-point range. But the junior guard knocked down his first 3-pointer at the 7:32 mark to give the Bearcats a 19-14 lead.

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Davenport, DeJulius and Madsen each led Cincinnati with eight first-half points, as the Bearcats closed the first half on a 13-1 run and took a 37-25 advantage into intermission.

Temple, which extended its win streak to four games, played its 10th straight game without guard Khalif Battle. The 6-foot-5 sophomore is out for the season with a foot injury.

Battle was the AAC's leading scorer (21.4 points per game) and led the Owls in field-goal percentage and three-point percentage when he suffered his season-ending injury on Dec. 1.

A win Tuesday would've given Miller 200 for his career (199-141). Miller spent 10 seasons as the head coach at UNC Greensboro before taking over the Cincinnati program in April 2021.

Miller will look to collect the milestone victory and get the Bearcats back in the win column Sunday at East Carolina. Tip is scheduled for noon on ESPNU.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati basketball: UC Bearcats stumble at Temple, 61-58