FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)Landers Nolley II scored 22 points, Mika Adams-Woods and Dan Skillings Jr. each had 20, and fourth-seeded Cincinnati overwhelmed Temple 84-54 Friday in the American Athletic Conference quarterfinals.
Ody Oguama had 12 rebounds for the Bearcats (21-11), who finished strong after being down by 10 points less than seven minutes into the game.
Zach Hicks, Jamille Reynolds and Damian Dunn each had 12 points for Temple (16-16). Jahlil White added 10.
The Bearcats play No. 1 Houston (30-2) in the semifinal round Saturday. The Cougars have won the last two AAC tournaments, and are 10-0 all-time at Dickies Arena after a 60-46 win over East Carolina in Friday’s first game.
With Cincinnati down 16-6, Skillings scored seven in a row. The freshman guard had back-to-back layups before making three free throws after being fouled shooting a 3. He finished with a season high for points.
A jumper by Skillings a few minutes later tied the game at 20, and started a 15-3 run that put the Bearcats ahead to stay. They kept pouring it on after that, leading by 10 at halftime before outscoring Temple by 20 after the break.
Nolley finished with four 3-pointers and had an emphatic slam dunk with about 5 1/2 minutes left, when Adams-Woods had a steal and passed ahead to the breaking Nolley for a highlight-reel play that made it 71-47. Adams-Woods made five 3s.
It will be the fifth AAC tournament in a row Cincinnati plays the Cougars. The first three were in the championship game – the Bearcats won in 2018 and 2019, then Houston was the 2021 champ after no tournament in 2020 because of COVID-19. Cincinnati lost to the Cougars in a quarterfinals game last year.
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