Temple's chance to once again play giant slayer against a ranked team was thwarted by poor shooting. With the Owls hitting 5 of 26 from beyond the arc, Temple suffered a 56-50 loss to Cincinnati in Wednesday's opening American Athletic Conference game for both teams at the Liacouras Center.
That dropped Temple to 9-5 while the No. 23 ranked Bearcats improved to 11-2.
Owls point guard Josh Brown missed his third straight game with Achilles tendon soreness.
With the score tied at 33, Owls guard Quinton Rose left the game with cramps, with 13:23 left. He did not return.
Temple held a 39-37 lead before Cincinnati went on a 10-0 run that ended with Tre Scott's dunk that boosted the Bearcats lead to 47-39 with 7:29 left.
The Owls cut the margin to 52-50 on Daniel Dingle's driving layup in traffic with 1:31 left. On the next possession, Cincinnati's Troy Caupain hit an off-balanced runner, but after review, it was ruled that it came after the shot clock expired.
That left Temple with the ball, down two and 57.9 seconds left. Dingle missed a forced three-pointer and fouled Gary Clark with 31.5 seconds left.
Dingle led the Owls with 15 points.
Clark missed both. Cincinnati's Scott blocked Shizz Alston's driving layup, with Temple retaining possession.
After a timeout, Dingle had a pass intercepted by Clark and Ernest Aflakpui then fouled out, sending Clark to the foul line with 14.9 seconds left.
Clark made both to increase the lead to 54-50. Obi Enechionyia missed a three, the Owls fouled and Cincinnati had secured the win.
Cincinnati scored the game's first nine points. Even though Temple had a rough beginning, missing its first eight shots from the field, the Owls tied the score with nine unanswered points of their own.
The game was tied at halftime, with neither team showing much accuracy. Temple was just 8 for 29 from the field while Cincinnati was 11-31.
The Owls, who entered the game averaging 11.1 turnovers, committed 10 in the first half.
Freshman guard Alani Moore, coming off a season-high 26 points in last week's 83-77 win over Yale, led Temple in the first half with six points on two long threes.
Cincinnati attempted just one free throw. The Bearcats seemed content to shoot either threes or post up close to the basket.
Like Temple, Cincinnati didn't have a breakout first half offensive player, with three players each scoring five points.