Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Temple Owls are hoping to correct a
four-game losing streak, but will be fighting an uphill battle as they take on
the 19th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats in an American Athletic Conference matchup
at Fifth Third Arena.
Temple has had its fair share of struggles this season with a 5-9 overall
record. The Owls lose games in packs, and this four-game skid is the longest
losing streak Temple has experienced all season. The Owls are coming off a
79-69 loss to No. 24 Memphis, and must now face the ranked Bearcats.
Cincinnati is riding an eight-game winning streak and a perfect 4-0 AAC record
through its first 17 games this season. The Bearcats are coming off a dominant
71-51 win over Rutgers Saturday, and could potentially extend the streak to
nine straight with Temple on their home court.
Cincinnati holds the advantage in the all-time series between these two
programs, 14-6. Temple and Cincinnati will meet again later this month in
Philadelphia on Jan. 26.
Although Memphis had a handle on things for most of the contest against Temple
Saturday, the Owls did manage to cut the Tigers' lead to five points late in
the second half. But Memphis regained the advantage and went on to win by 10
points, 79-69. Dalton Pepper led the way for Temple with 24 points on 8-of-16
shooting from the floor. Pepper added eight rebounds and a perfect 4-of-4 from
the free-throw line to his stat total. Quenton DeCosey netted 18 points on 7-
of-14 shooting, and Will Cummings had 11 and a team-high five assists in the
loss. The Owls shot 41.5 percent from the field as a team.
Pepper, Cummings and DeCosey are the three top scorers on Temple this season,
which averages 77.5 ppg. Pepper paces the team with 17.2 ppg, while Cummings
and DeCosey are next at 16.1 and 16 ppg, respectively. Anthony Lee is the
fourth-leading scorer on the Owls at 13.9 ppg and the team's tops rebounder at
9.4 rpg. Cummings has 57 total assists this season to lead the team. The Owls
are giving up an average of 75.9 ppg to opponents.
Scoring hasn't been much of a problem for the Bearcats this season, as they
receive plenty of it from top performers Sean Kilpatrick and Justin Jackson.
But the real story has been Cincinnati's defense, which held Rutgers to 51
points Saturday in the Bearcats' 71-51 defeat of the Scarlet Knights.
Cincinnati held Rutgers without a field goal in the final 11:45 of the
contest, helping the Bearcats to a perfect 4-0 record in conference play.
Kilpatrick scored a team-high 16 points on 3-of-13 shooting, but went 9-of-10
from the free-throw line, and grabbed seven rebounds. The Bearcats broke into
the Top 20 with the win.
Kilpatrick has been a force to be reckoned with this season, netting 18.4 ppg
in 17 contests on 41.9 percent shooting from the floor. He leads the team with
43 total assists on the year, and averages 4.4 rpg. Jackson, at 11.5 ppg this
season, leads the team with a 7.5 rpg clip and has recorded a team-best 56
blocked shots. Jackson is aided by a 54.7 percent shooting mark from the
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