Temple beats Bucknell 73-67 in NIT
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Will Cummings was angry that Temple didn't get selected for the NCAA Tournament.
The senior point guard took it out on Bucknell.
Three days after the Owls' Sunday heartbreak, Cummings scored a season-high 30 points to lead Temple past the Bison 73-67 in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday.
Quenton DeCosey added 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the top-seeded Owls (24-10), the first team left out of the NCAA field.
''We don't really want to go out on a sour note,'' Cummings said. ''It would be bad if we didn't make the NCAA Tournament and then we came out here and lost, too. That's not really how we want to go out. That's not how I want to go out as a senior.''
Chris Hass led eighth-seeded Bucknell (19-15) with 15 points. Nana Foulland added 14 points and 10 rebounds and J.C. Show had 13 for the Bison, who won the Patriot League regular-season title to earn an automatic NIT berth.
''I thought our guys really competed and went toe to toe with a bigger, stronger, more athletic team,'' Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen said.
After Hass gave the Bison a 52-51 lead with a 3-pointer midway through the second half, Cummings sparked an 11-3 Temple run with nine points in a 4 1/2-minute span.
Cummings added seven rebounds and shot 9 for 9 from the foul line. His 30 points were one off his career high and the most scored by an Owl this season.
''It was an unbelievable performance, really,'' Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. ''He was all over the place.''
Bucknell pulled to 64-62 on Hass' jumper with 1:23 left, but Temple went 7 for 8 from the foul line in the final minute to fend off the Bison's upset bid and move one step closer to their new goal - winning the NIT championship.
''Did we feel like we should have been an NCAA entrant? Yes,'' Dunphy said. ''But we're playing in a really good basketball tournament. We're thrilled to still be playing basketball.''
Bucknell: In the Bison's only other trip to the NIT, they upset top-seeded Arizona in the first round of the 2012 tourney. . Wednesday's game fell on the 10-year anniversary of Bucknell's NCAA Tournament upset of Kansas, which marked the first-ever NCAA win for a Patriot League team.
Temple: This was Dunphy's first time appearing in the NIT in 26 years as a Division I head coach. He coached in 15 NCAA Tournaments during that span. . The Owls have had success in the NIT before, winning the title in 1938 and 1969 and going to the Final Four in 1957 and 2002. This was the Owls' first NIT appearance since they played in five straight from 2002-06.
Bucknell: Season over.
Temple: Hosts fifth-seeded George Washington in the second round on Sunday morning.