No. 9 Cincinnati looking to keep streak alive vs. Temple

When a reporter asked Mick Cronin on Monday to comment on his team being ranked in the top 10 of this week’s Associated Press poll for the first time in three seasons, the Cincinnati Bearcats head coach was having none of it.

Somebody texted it to me, Cronin said. I was going to describe that person with an adjective. I’m trying to get over vomiting all day Sunday over our performance Saturday night.

Unlike the first matchup against the Bearcats, Temple finished strong with a 12-0 run to close out a 60-51 win over Penn on Saturday. This was in contrast to several other games this season, including Cincinnati, where the Owls squandered leads late.

We’re equal opportunity on bad plays, said Temple coach Fran Dunphy of his team’s struggles down the stretch. We take bad shots, we throw it away … we cover the gamut. But, to survive and move on to the next challenge, we’re grateful for it.

Cincinnati leads the all-time series with Temple 20-9, including three straight wins. The Bearcats own an 8-2 advantage over the Owls at home.

Kent State led 38-31 at halftime, but Ball State (12-8, 3-4) grabbed the lead, 42-41, on a Trey Moses free throw with 3:20 gone in the second half. The Golden Flashes trailed 49-45, but Walker nailed 3-pointers to begin and end a 10-0 run and forge a 55-49 lead. From there, Ball State got seven points from Sean Sellers and five from Tayler Persons, including a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left in regulation, to send the game to overtime tied at 71.

Ishmael El-Amin’s layup gave the Cardinals a 75-74 lead with 3:18 remaining, but Pippen hit a jumper to ignite a 10-0 run to seal the win for Kent State.

Persons tallied 19 points and seven assists to pace Ball State. Sellers added 15 points and nine rebounds.

So we’re going to enjoy and embrace every single second of it, you know? We get obsessed with completion. That’s what successful people do, they get obsessed with completion. And we need to complete this season. And no better way to go out than with a win.

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