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Looking for Revenge, Cats Get OT Win

By Ryan Roberts

It has been a roller coaster season for the Bearcats in year two of the Wes Miller era. They have had to battle injuries to key players, learn a new system, and most importantly, figure out how to close games out when they have a lead in the final 3 minutes.

In the most recent two game stretch, Cincinnati blew a 16 point lead on the road in a loss against East Carolina, but battled adversity and picked up a buzzer beating win over Central Florida. Coming in to Wednesday night's rematch with Temple, UC was looking to avenge a 70-61 road loss that occurred all the way back on New Year's Day.

Mika Adams-Woods got the scoring started for the Cats with a 3 pointer, but Cincinnati would go on to make just 1 of their first 7 shots during a scoring drought that lasted 2:53. Jeremiah Davenport ended the drought with a 3 at the 15:21 mark, which was followed by another 2 minute scoring drought to allow Temple to take a 12-6 lead with 13:31 left in the first half.

Scoring droughts have unfortunately become something that Cincinnati fans have learned to just deal with. While frustrating, at some point the Bearcats are going to figure things out and get rolling offensively.

With 10:10 remaining in the first half, Temple's Jahlil White turned a UC turnover in to 2 points at the other end to give Temple a 20-14 lead. Wes Miller called a timeout and was clearly frustrated with the Bearcats effort at both ends of the floor. Temple was extremely aggressive defensively, while also making 7 of their first 10 shots from the field.

Whatever Miller said in the timeout seemed to work as the Bearcats responded with a 16-4 run over the next 5:23 to take a 6 point lead, 30-24. Down 22-17, David Dejulius put together a 9-0 personal run to put get the Cats going offensively during the run. Temple outscored UC 7-1 over the next 3 minutes to cut Cincinnati's lead to 32-31 with 1:49 remaining in the half.

It looked like the Bearcats would head in to the half with momentum after a Dan Skillings 3 was followed by a steal and dunk, but Temple's Zach Hicks made a 3 with 11 seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 37-34 at the break.

Dan Skillings led UC with 10 points at the half, while Temple was led by Damian Dunn and Jahlil White with 8 each...more on Dunn later.

The second half started with Hysier White knocking down a 3 to tie the score at 37.

Once again, the Bearcats answered.

Vik Lahkin gave the Bearcats the lead, followed by a Dejulius jumper to kick start what would eventually be a 10-2 run to give Cincinnati a 47-39 lead with 16:11 left in the second half. Landers' Nolley scored 6 points during the run to help give the Cats a little momentum and breathing room.

Jamille Reynolds put back dunk closed the gap to 47-43, but an and one by Viktor Lahkin and lay up by Landers Nolley extended the lead back out to 9, 52-43, with 14:11 left. Temple answered with a mini run but Dan Skillings hit another 3 to end the Temple threat and push the lead back to 9, 55-46, less than a minute later.

It was game on from there as Damian Dunn got going.

Hysier White made a 3 to cut the Bearcats lead to 55-49 with 12:58 left to play and Dunn scored 11 of Temple's next 16 points over 4:50 to tie the game at 65 with 8:08 left. Dunn capped off his scoring with a 3 in transition after Zach Hicks made a 3 on the possession prior.

David Dejulius made a 3 pointer at the other end and then hit a jumper following a Vik Lahkin free throw, to cap off a 6-0 run and give UC a 71-65 lead with 4:53 left.

Temple didn't make a field goal from the 8:08 mark of the second half until 20 seconds remained. Damian Dunn and Jamille Reynolds combined for 7 points from the free throw line during the time to put Temple in a position to send the game to overtime as Cincinnati didn't make a field goal over the final 5:11.

With 20 seconds left, Zach Hicks made a 3 from the wing to tie the score at 75. Landers Nolley missed an off balance 3 just before time expired and we were off to overtime.

In overtime, it was the Landers Nolley and Damian Dunn show.

Nolley scored 9 of team high point in the extra period, while Dunn scored 6 of his game high 34 points. Nolley's final point of the night proved to be the most important as it gave UC an 86-83 lead with 22 seconds remaining. Nick Jourdain missed both free throws after a loose ball foul on a Hysier White shot and Jeremiah Davenport calmly sank both of his free throws at the other end to give the Cats a hard fought overtime win.

Davenport finished with 10 points in the game, with David Dejulius tying Nolley with 20 and 7 assists. Dan Skillings Jr played arguably his best game of his young Bearcats career with 15 points in 15 minutes. Vik Lahkin also reached double figures with 10 points in his return before fouling out.

Temple got 13 points from Hysier Miller and 11 from Zach Hicks.

Key Stats:

- Bearcats shot 28-30 (90%) from the free throw line

- UC out-rebounded Temple 35-29

- Temple was 10-23 from 3, while UC was 8-22

- UC had 9 turnovers , Temple had 8 turnovers

Cincinnati improves to 19-10 (10-6 AAC) while Temple falls to 15-14 (9-7 AAC).

Up Next: UC travels to Memphis Sunday February 26th for a 2:00 tip off.

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