Knights win fourth game in a row, blow out Rio Grande


Ty Wright / Valencia Voice

Kasey Wilson had 19 points and 9 rebounds in the Knights win over Rio Grande.

Kasey Wilson has 19 points and 9 rebounds, helping the UCF Knights defeat the University of Rio Grande Red Storm 86-58 in the first game of the Jackson Hewitt Holiday Classic on Saturday at CFE Arena.

Wilson finished the game shooting 5-9 from the floor, while also going 7-11 from the free throw line. The Knights as a team shot 50% from the floor against the Red Storm, going 13-24 for behind the 3-point line.

“I think it’s a great thing,” said UCF head coach Donnie Jones. “I think we’re going to have to make shots. Our post presence has got to get better, we’re still looking for that fifth man to produce for us.”

With the 13 made 3-pointers, anyone with a ticket from Saturday’s game will receive 13 free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings, with the purchase of any snack size wings, as part of UCF’s promotion with the restaurant chain.

Rio Grande started the game with a 4-0 run, but that was the largest and only taste of a lead the Red Storm had all night. Tristan Spurlock hit a 3-pointer after the run and then Calvin Newell gave UCF the lead with a layup, the Knights wouldn’t look back from there.

UCF went into halftime leading Rio Grande 41-32, while the Red Storm went into the locker room at half shooting 15.4% from 3-point land.

The Red Storm would go on to score the first 4 points of the second half, but the Knights would go on to extend their lead back to double-digits after subbing in a fresh set of guards.

“That was a change in personal,” said Jones about the early second half substitutions. “We went and put in three new guards and I thought the momentum completely changed.”

Wilson led the Knights with 10 second half points, which included him going 6-9 from the free throw line.

With the win UCF improves to 7-3 and will again on Sunday, Dec. 22 against Valparaiso University in their final game of the Jackson Hewitt Holiday Classic. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. EST

The Knights lost to Valparaiso 85-70 in the last meeting between the two teams back in November.