Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

UCF Knights beat ECU, Sykes grabs second triple-double

ORLANDO — Isaiah Sykes recorded his second triple-double of the season as the UCF Knights defeated the East Carolina University Pirates 83-73 on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the UCF Arena.

Sykes finished the game with 20 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists.

“You don’t need a whole team full of tough guys, you just need one tough guy for you to lead,” said UCF head coach Donnie Jones of Sykes’ leadership. “And I think that he’s a great example of that.”

Keith Clanton became the Knights’ all-time rebounding leader early in the first half when he gathered the 943rd rebound of his career.

“It means a lot,” said Clanton about what it meant to be UCF’s all-time leader in rebounds. “Just knowing that rebounding is all effort, it doesn’t take no skill, its just about how hard you’re going to go out there and play everyday, and I feel like I competed everyday.”

Clanton finished the game with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists, while teammate Tristan Spurlock had 16 points and six rebounds of his own for UCF.

ECU’s Maurice Kemp led all scorers with 24 points, while adding 11 rebounds for the Pirates.

UCF led 23-12 after the first ten minutes of the opening half, but the Knights used a 9-0 run to jump out to a 32-21 lead with 8:30 remaining in the half.

The Knights went 9-19 from behind the three-point line during the first half, as they went into the locker room at halftime leading the Pirates 48-35.

Sykes led the Knights in scoring at halftime with 15 points, while adding eight rebounds and five assists during the first half as he was on his way to UCF’s fourth ever triple-double.

“I was just trying to look for my teammates and get others involved in the game,” said Sykes. “Relieve some pressure off of Keith just to get him open and other teammates.”

Isaiah Sykes completed his triple-double with 7:38 remaining in the second half, when he passed the ball to Blair in the post for his tenth assist of the game.

“Just knowing that they were going to try and key in on me,” said Sykes. “That’s the time that I set in my head that I’ve got to get others involved and get others good shots.”

The triple-double was Sykes second of the season, his other triple-double came on Dec. 20, at home against Stetson.

“It’s just going out there and playing hard,” said Sykes about a season in which he has had two triple-doubles. “Without my teammates it wouldn’t have been possible, so you’ve got to give them credit because they help box out and grab rebounds, so you’ve got to give the whole team credit.”

ECU cut the lead to six late in the game, but UCF finished on a 8-3 run, as the Knights improved their record to 17-6 for the season and now control their own destiny for the Conference USA regular season title.

Sykes added one block and one steal to his statline, while only turning the ball over one time for the Knights during the game.

“He’s just playing wherever,” said Jones about Sykes. “If he’s got the ball we just put him at point. If I started him at center he’d probably have the same line, that’s just who he is.”

The Knights’ next game will be Wednesday, Feb. 13 on the road against Houston.

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