Temple coach Fran Dunphy’s seat is, at the very least, warm. His Owls have made the NCAA Tournament just once in the past four years, and are off to a poor start in Dunphy’s 12th season. They had lost three in a row heading into a crucial conference matchup with Cincinnati.
On the list of things not to do during a losing streak, with pressure from the fan base mounting, is get a stupid technical foul that costs your team the game. But that’s what Dunphy did Thursday night – kind of.
He didn’t directly cost Temple the game. And he was far from the only reason the Owls fell 55-53 to the Bearcats. But with 2:21 remaining, with his team leading by two, he couldn’t contain his anger after a turnover. He slapped his water bottle out onto the court, and was hit with a technical.
Temple coach Fran Dunphy angrily smacks his water bottle onto the court and gets T'd up. Totally swung momentum. pic.twitter.com/dNtwSToqhB
— OhVarsity! (@OhVarsity) January 5, 2018
Dunphy, speaking after the game, claimed he merely tried to grab his water bottle, which he often does without a problem, but “fumbled it.”
Fran Dunphy on when he knocked over the water bottle got called for a technical foul late in the game: pic.twitter.com/VlzYvLlKXy
— Tom Ignudo (@TomIgnudo) January 5, 2018
The video, though not conclusive, suggests that might not be 100 percent truthful.
Cincinnati’s Gary Clark made one of two free throws. Kyle Washington then hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to put the visitors up two.
Temple pulled even on three free throws with 18 seconds left. But with the game tied, the Bearcats were able to hold for the final shot. Jacob Evans took it, and drilled it:
— American MBB (@American_MBB) January 5, 2018
Temple fell to 0-3 in the American Athletic Conference, with one of the other two losses at home against Tulane. It also fell to George Washington and Big 5 rival La Salle earlier in the season.
A win over No. 19 Cincinnati would have been a nice way to kick-start a turnaround. Instead, the loss has more fans calling for Dunphy to go.