UCF breaks eight game losing streak

By Bryan Levine
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A lot has happened since Jan. 5. There has been a tragic shooting in our country, a new Super Bowl champion has been crowned, and Egypt’s government has crumbled. But the one thing that hadn’t happened since then was a win by the University of Central Florida Knights, until Saturday when the Knights managed to end their 8 game, 32 day losing streak.

One game removed from a heart-breaking, buzzer-beating loss to Memphis, the UCF Knights found themselves on the winning end of an opponent’s final second shot. Tulsa guard Scottie Haralson missed an uncontested three pointer as time expired giving the Knights a 58-57 win; just their second in 2011.

Led by forward Keith Clanton with 16 points, the Knights took the lead with 15 minutes left in the game and never let it go. The Knights had as high as an eight point lead but saw it trim down as the game went on. Though shooting only 37 percent from the field, and 22 percent from beyond the arc, it was the defense that prevailed for the Knights. Guard Marcus Jordan had six defensive rebounds, and center Tom Herzog had four blocked shots.

“Our defense has been pretty good to keep us in games, we just haven’t been able to score at times,” said coach Donnie Jones after the game. “And I think tonight we were able to score when we needed to, but defense definitely won us the game.”

With this win, Jones finally won his 70th career win and the Knights matched their total wins from last season with 15.

Up next for the Knights is back-to-back road games against Tulane, and UAB. The Knights are still looking for their first road win in conference play as they hope to put together consecutive victories for the first time since winning 14 straight earlier this season.

With only six games left on the season, there is still hope for the Knights as they look to do some damage in the Conference-USA tournament and push their luck to make it to the NCAA tournament for just the fifth time in the program’s history.