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Aubrey Dawkins’ career-high 36 points not enough as Temple bests UCF

Knights finish regular season 23-7, 13-5 in The American.

NCAA Basketball: Central Florida at Temple Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

UCF’s 4-game winning streak snapped in a loss to the Temple Owls Saturday afternoon.

The Owls won a much-needed game for their tournament resume, 67-62.

With the score tied at 52 at the four-minute mark, Temple and UCF would reach a critical moment in the game.

A Collin Smith turnover that turned into a Quinton Rose dunk from a Shizz Alston Jr. pass on the other end gave Temple the lead for good.

Rose and Alston thrived in Temple’s backcourt and were a huge reason behind Temple’s victory.

Rose scored 11 while senior Alston Jr. scored a team-high 21 in his final home game as an Owl.

It was also the final home game for revered Temple head coach Fran Dunphy, who ended his regular season career on a high note with a huge win for Temple that has major tournament implications.

For UCF, Aubrey Dawkins knocked down a career-high 36 points after entering the day questionable to play with a back injury.

If anything was slowing Dawkins down today, it was not apparent. He also grabbed 11 rebounds in easily his best performance of the year.

Dawkins kept the ship afloat and did not receive much support from the rest of the team.

BJ Taylor shot 1-8 for only eight points, while Tacko Fall found himself in foul trouble throughout most of the afternoon, scoring just four points.

Given Temple’s circumstances with their senior night and the final game at home for Coach Dunphy and the importance of their game in the grand scheme of their season, it’s no surprise that Temple came out on top today.

UCF put together a valiant effort, albeit not their best, but came up just short.

With the win, Temple has nearly wrapped up the No. 3 seed in the AAC Tournament, which begins Thursday.

The loss pushes UCF to the No. 4 seed and a likely matchup with the Memphis Tigers, whom the Knights lost to by 20 in an earlier meeting this season in Memphis.

UCF will open their tournament play on Friday against the winner of No. 5 Memphis and No. 12 Tulane, who play Thursday.

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