Knights can’t keep up with ‘Noles, drop first game


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Calvin Newell had 15 points in the Knights loss to the Seminoles on Wednesday.

UCF men’s basketball was looking for their first ever win against Florida State on Wednesday night at CFE Arena, but were denied as the Knights fell to the Seminoles 80-68 in front of what was the fourth biggest crowd in UCF basketball history.

“We got caught up in trying to do too much,” said UCF head coach Donnie Jones. “Tonight we got frustrated…it was definitely a learning experience.”

Calvin Newell and Kasey Wilson led the Knights with 15 points each in the losing effort. Senior guard Ian Miller led the Seminoles (2-0) with 18 points.

UCF (1-1) came out with great intensity in the first half and found themselves down only five at halftime. The second half was a different story as the Knights had numerous costly turnovers, and found themselves playing out-of-sync offensively.

“Second half we executed poorly, we rushed through everything,” said junior forward Eugene McCrory.

Coach Jones spoke of early season struggles and knows his team needs more time to gel.

“We’re not a team yet, we still have a bunch of guys learning to play together”…“I told the guys we just didn’t play together as a team,” said Jones.

Turnovers and missed free throws plagued the black and gold as they committed 20 turnovers, and shot only 52.4% from the charity stripe.

“When our guards turn the ball over, it makes it really hard,” said Jones. “It’s contagious. One turnover turns into another.

Coach Jones emphasized that it is early in the season, and his team will learn a lot from games like this going forward.

“You don’t win championships in November…the things we emphasize in practice that sometimes the guys don’t think are important, now they realize they are,” said Jones.

UCF will next play host Bethune-Cookman on Sunday Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.