Knights prevail against Golden Hurricanes 83-75

ORLANDO – Isaiah Sykes scored 22 points as the UCF Knights outlasted the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes 83-75 on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the UCF Arena.

Head Coach Donnie Jones said, “Right now I think we are third place here in the league which is important and I think we got a chance to control our destiny, Memphis in a conference game and then we got two on the road so with three conference games to play here right now we got a chance to finish well and with Memphis coming in next Saturday don’t want to overlook Georgia Southwestern it is a non-conference game that we got to use that game to go out and play and get better.”

“Prepare for a Memphis team more than likely probably coming in here undefeated and a great opportunity for us to play against them, who is probably one of the hottest teams in college basketball right now.”

Sykes finished the game with 22 points, seven rebounds, two turnovers and four assists. He also went 10 of 15 at the free throw line.

The Knights started the game aggressively getting to the free throw line 11 times in the first half and making nine of them to shoot 81.8 percent from the line in the first half.

Also, the Knights weren’t playing much isolation tonight as they relied on passing the ball more to find the open shooter or a shot.

Tristan Spurlock finished the game with 19 points, seven rebounds, an assist, a turnover and three blocks.

“We work on our free throws every day so that was nothing for us to step up and we just focus in and hit them Isaiah went 10-15 which is really good and Keith went 9-12 they shot a lot of them down the stretch”, said Tristan Spurlock.

The UCF’s victory against Tulsa ended their three game conference losing streak, which the teams that they lose to while on that streak were Memphis, UTEP, and Marshall.

The Knights took the early lead in the game 16-12, but Tulsa fought back to take a slim lead into half time 36-35.

UCF also cut down its turnovers compared to last game versus Marshall, where they had 14 turnovers while this game they had nine turnovers against Tulsa.

The UCF Knights had four players in double figures on the night, while Tulsa had only three players.

Keith Clanton finished the game with 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, two turnovers, two blocks and four steals.

Also, Matt Williams off the bench was a boost for the Knights as he chipped in with 10 points, two rebounds and a steal.

The difference in the game was UCF hit some big free throws down the line to win the game as they went 31-42 from the line, which is 73.8 percent. The reason is that Tulsa keep the game close through the entire game because they shot the threes good all game long to keep it interesting down to the wire.

The UCF Knights’ next game is at home on Tuesday vs the Georgia Southwestern Hurricanes at the UCF Arena at 7 p.m.