Cincinnati Bearcats men's basketball defeated Temple University in the Bearcat's first home game in 41 days on Friday night, with a final score of 71-69. The game was a result of last-minute scheduling changes as both teams had their game postponed on Wednesday.
The wealth was spread on the scoring end, with nine Bearcats putting points on the scoresheet. Only Mika Adams-Woods and Jeremiah Davenport reached double-digits in scoring.
"It was just our willingness to play together to get the job done. It was our mission to beat Temple," said Davenport.
Davenport added eight rebounds and six assists to the box score, nearly tallying his second double-double of the season.
"His fire sets everybody else going. He sets the emotional temperature of our team, and when he's doing that, and he's locked it, he gets everybody else going," head coach John Brannen said on Davenport's performance.
Seven of the nine scorers finished above seven points, a rare mark for the Bearcats, and shows the ball movement's impact. Cincinnati had 16 assists compared to Temple's 10.
Of the Bearcat's 71 points, 35 of them came from the bench, including returners Zach Harvey and Mamoudou Diarra. They both made immediate impacts with big first-half performances scoring eight and four points respectively in the first 20 minutes.
The returners aren't alone with their impressive showings in the first half. As a whole, the team shot just above their season average, shooting 24-55 (43%) from the field. The other end of the court is where Cincinnati stood out, however.
"That's three straight games of big time first-half performances defensively," Brannen said. "It really starts with how we're defending. I think we're way more connected defensively."
On the defensive side, the Bearcats out-rebounded the Owls and out-blocked by more than twice-fold, with Cincinnati denying a total of seven shots.
Showing up big was center, Chris Vogt, posting a season-high in blocks with six, his season high by a margin of three. Vogt added eight points to the game as well.
"We all know he's capable of that; he showed that tonight. It's just a matter of the hard work put in," Davenport said about Vogt's performance.
Five of Vogt's blocks came in the second half, being just one of the clutch factors in getting the result. Cincinnati went 14-17 from the free-throw line in the second half, including two in the final minutes from Mason Madsen to make the game a two-score battle heading into the final few possessions.
The win marks three in a row for Cincinnati. Cincinnati's record now stands at 6-7 on the season, 4-4 in the American Athletic Conference.
The next outing for the Bearcats is scheduled for Feb. 14 in a home match against AAC opponent the University of Central Florida. The game can be streamed on ESPN+ at 1 p.m.