UCF Knights shut down twice in AAC play

Lost two straight

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  • | 5:59 a.m. January 28, 2016
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Nineteen turnovers may have been the key to a crushing defeat at the end of the UCF men’s basketball team’s longest trip of the season in Tulsa. With a 75-60 score showing, the Knights lost their second American Athletic Conference game of the season and dipped ever closer to the .500 mark overall.

The Knights actually led the game early on, though only by a basket each time, before the game gradually got out of hand. By five minutes left in the second half, it was ripped wide open, with the Golden Hurricane at one point expanding their lead to 16 points as the Knights tried fruitlessly to sew things back together.

By then, the Knights had made too many mistakes to get back into the game, having nearly quadrupled the amount of turnovers they committed compared to Tulsa. Justin McBride, the backup center who completed his ascension to Knights leading scorer from deep on the bench with 15 points in 18 minutes, also committed the most turnovers with 5. He did his best to make up for it with 7 rebounds in that short time on the court. Knights starting big man Tacko Fall grabbed 10 boards to lead the team.

Unlike most of their losses, the Knights shot beyond 45 percent on the night, while manhandling Tulsa into only shooting 34.8 percent for the game. But with Tulsa making nearly 100 shot attempts on the night compared to the Knights’ 63, it came down to a numbers game. Those extra shots came thanks to Tulsa’s 18 offensive rebounds, more than double what the Knights could snag.

Four Knights would go into double-digit points in a wild shootout they lost against Memphis Tuesday night 97-86. McBride again led the way, with 20 points on 24 minutes off the bench. A.J. Davis landed 15 points and 8 rebounds.

While the Knights had one of their best shooting games all season, they let Memphis throw down on the basket even more. Tiger star center Shaq Goodwin slammed home a career high 35 points in the game.

For the Knights, the onslaught of conference foes continues as they host UConn at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Huskies (14-5, 4-2) are coming off a three-game winning streak over Houston, Tulane and Georgetown.


The Tars men’s basketball team (13-6) went to Tampa and emerged with a shocker 59-58 as the final Tampa shot attempt was slapped down by James Ferrell to seal the win. That win made two in a row for the Tars, after they trounced Florida Southern 89-72 on Jan. 20.

At 4 p.m. Saturday they face Embry-Riddle (11-6) for the second time this season. When they last met on Dec. 2, the Tars won 85-68 thanks to Sharif Almulla’s 33 points.

Winter Park

The Wildcats boys basketball team holds the district’s top slot outright heading into the end of the regular season after smashing Colonial 64-44 on Jan. 22. The Wildcats (13-9, 4-0) already had the game in hand by the end of the first quarter, after leaping out to a 22-8 lead then never looking back.

Wyatt Wilkes led the way with a double-double, notching 15 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists to lead the team, with Dakotah Nicoll not far behind with 14 points.

The Wildcats doubled down with a 77-71 win over Lake Nona Tuesday night. They face Dr. Phillips at 7 p.m. tonight for Senior Night. It will be the last home game before district play starts.

The lady Wildcats beat Bishop Moore 56-47 last Thursday en route to their first district tournament game, which played out at press time at Colonial Wednesday night.


The Eagles were edged by Auburndale 74-71 on Jan. 22, despite a 27-point, 6-assist performance by Frank Foreman. A 51-44 loss to Boone added to a four-game losing streak near the end of the regular season. Now the Eagles (11-11), are looking at the end of the regular season with homestands against Olympia at 7 p.m. tonight and Bishop Moore at 7 p.m. Saturday before the district tournament begins.

The lady Eagles are 17-5 overall after blasting Lake Region 89-10 to open up district play. They’ve beaten Lake Region this season by a combined score differential of 267-36. They face Auburndale at 7 p.m. tonight on their home court. The championship game will be at 7 p.m. Friday.


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