The Knights bounced back in a big way and Coach Kirk Speraw grabbed a record as they trampled East Carolina 67-56 on Feb. 2.
On the tail end of a three-game conference skid, the UCF men's basketball team (11-11, 3-5) was looking for redemption.
They'd lost big to UTEP, SMU and Tulsa, by a total margin of 216-152, with two of those losses coming at home.
Big disparities in defensive to offensive rebounds had eliminated the Knights' second chances that were desperately needed in those games, as the Knights shot as low as 32 percent from the floor.
The Knights bounced back with a vengeance against East Carolina, as the team gave Speraw his 275th win, making him the all-time winningest basketball coach in UCF history. He passed Torchy Clark for the record.
Helping the team in a big way, Taylor Young shot 16 points — a career high — and added 6 assists. Isaac Sosa regained his touch and picked up 14 points in just 21 minutes on the floor. A.J. Tyler wasn't far behind with 10 points and 9 rebounds.
Marcus Jordan has added to his consistency under the basket, picking up 9 points against the Pirates while helping lead his team in steals with 4.
Conspicuously overshadowed on the scoreboard, A.J. Rompza scored just 5 points, though he picked up 5 assists and 4 rebounds in the contest in 31 minutes on the floor.
Even more out of the spotlight was Keith Clanton, the UCF freshman phenom who had taken a regular role as the team's leading scorer in recent games. He picked up 2 points on free throws while missing five shots. In a previous loss to Tulsa, he had scored 17 points and picked up 6 rebounds.
Wednesday night at press time the Knights faced perennial Conference-USA contender Memphis on the Tigers' home court. They were facing Memphis for the first time this season.
At 4 p.m. Saturday the Knights return to their home court in their first matchup against Tulane this season. The Green Wave is near the bottom of C-USA with a 7-15 overall and 2-7 conference record — just behind the Knights.
The Rollins Tars had their 8-game winning streak snapped Saturday night, as they faced Florida Southern in Lakeland. The 90-69 trouncing came as unexpected for the Tars, who had beaten the Moccasins 91-88 on Jan. 9.
The stunning loss left the formerly streaking Tars at 17-4 overall and 8-2 in the conference. Nick Wolf pulled a double double in the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds, leading his team in both categories.
After traveling to Barry at press time Wednesday, the Tars return home at 4 p.m. Saturday against Tampa. The last time the Tars faced Tampa — Jan. 16 — they trounced them 72-55.