Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Sean Kilpatrick scored 29 points and made two key free throws in the final seconds to help the 15th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats hold off the Temple Owls, 80-76, on Sunday.
The Owls came all the way back from 19 down and tied the game at 76 on Dalton Pepper's 3-pointer with 36.9 seconds to play. Kilpatrick responded with two free throws at the other end to put Cincinnati back in front.
"I was just trying to get fouled," Kilpatrick said of getting to the free throw line. "The time was running down, they switched the pick and roll and the big man was on me. I just drove at him."
Jermaine Sanders sealed the win for the Bearcats with a block of Josh Brown's shot from the baseline. Kevin Johnson added two more free throws to account for the final margin.
Shaquille Thomas ended with 15 points for the Bearcats (19-2, 8-0 AAC), who have won 12 in a row.
Pepper went 8-of-14 from beyond the arc en route to a career-high 33 points for the Owls (5-13, 0-7), who have dropped eight straight games. Will Cummings and Anthony Lee tallied 14 and 12 points, respectively.
"He was a superstar in the second half," Temple head coach Fran Dunphy said of Pepper. "He obviously propelled us to get back into the game."
Trailing 59-40 with 12 1/2 minutes to play, Temple started to chip away at its deficit. Pepper's 3-pointer and Lee's layup cut the gap to 14.
Pepper made consecutive 3-pointers moments later to get the Owls within 65-53.
Down 71-57 with 7:01 to go, Cummings scored from beyond the arc to spark a 12-1 Temple run. Lee capped the surge with a pair of free throws to make it a three-point contest.
Cincinnati continued to lead until Pepper made his eighth 3-pointer of the game with 36.9 seconds left. Kilpatrick hit the game-winning free throws with 7.2 seconds to play.
The Bearcats created some distance late in the first half with an 8-0 run. Thomas capped the spurt with a layup, making it 31-21 with 3:10 remaining.
Cincinnati took a 36-26 lead into the locker room.
Cincinnati leads the all-time series by a 15-6 margin ... The Bearcats had held each of their previous 27 opponents under 70 points ... Cincinnati's Justin Jackson played just six minutes before leaving with an injury ... The Bearcats are off to their best start in league play since they went 8-0 in Conference USA in 2001-02 ... Temple's losing streak is its longest since the 1975-76 team lost 11 straight.