The Knights (19-12) move on to take on no. 21 ranked and third seeded Houston (24-6) Friday night at 9 p.m. at the Amway Center.
“I thought it was a great game,” UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins said. “When both teams are playing in a do-or-die situation, I think it brings out the best of the opponent. It brought out the best in us.”
Thursday night marked the 13th time this season that UCF held its opponent to less than 60 points, as the ECU averaged just 45.5 points in two games against the Knights this season.
The Knights used a 10-0 run midway through the first half to take a 21-9 lead with 7:49 to play in the frame. Dayon Griffin played a key role during the spurt, scoring six of UCF’s 10 points. The Black and Gold held ECU scoreless for over five minutes of play to gain the advantage.
UCF’s defense was as good as ever in the first half, holding ECU to just 25 points and 33 percent shooting from the floor, but the offense was just as good. The Knights went 7-of-11 from beyond the arc and shot 50 percent from the floor to take a 36-25 lead into the break.
“I thought it was a great defensive effort,” Dawkins said. “We knew the only way that we have been able to be successful is by hanging our hat on the defensive end, and I thought our guys gave us a really good effort tonight.”
ECU used an 13-0 run midway through the second half to cut the UCF lead to just 46-45, but the Knights countered with an 18-1 spurt to put the game away. B.J. Taylor and A.J. Davis combined for 13 of the 18 points to lead the way during the stretch and extend the advantage to 18 points, at 64-46.
“Give them a lot of credit, I thought they made a great run in the second half,” Dawkins said. “I thought our guys were hungry, they still want to play a lot more basketball, and I was really proud of the way they responded to their run.”
Taylor led UCF with 17 points in the victory, while Davis finished with 14 points. Chad Brown added eight points, a game high 10 rebounds, and three steals.
The Knights had 10 steals as a team, a season high, led by Terrell Allen‘s career high tying five picks. Allen added four rebounds and one assist in 26 minutes off the bench. Griffin and Ceasar DeJesusboth chipped in with nine points in the win.
UCF will play Houston on Friday in the Quarterfinals of the 2018 Aaron’s American Athletic Conference Championship. The sixth seeded Knights and the third seeded Cougars tip-off at 9 p.m. from the Amway Center.
Tickets for Friday night’s First Round game of The American Championship are on sale now. Friday’s tickets are good for UCF’s 9 p.m. game against Houston and the 7 p.m. game between Temple and Wichita State. To purchase, call (407) 823-1000 or CLICK HERE. All tickets purchase through UCF must be picked up at the UCF will call inside the main lobby of Amway Center starting at 6 p.m. Friday.
RENEW FOR 2018-19
Before the end of the 2017-18 season, renew your tickets for 2018-19 today! This year’s deadline for renewal is April 16. Fans are encouraged to renew their UCF Basketball tickets today by calling (407) 823-1000 (Option 2) or visiting UCFKnights.com.