UCF defeats Flagler College in first exhibition of season

B.J.+Taylor+had+23+points+in+his+first+game+in+a+UCF+uniform%2C+as+the+Knights+defeated+Flagler+College+96-70.

Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

B.J. Taylor had 23 points in his first game in a UCF uniform, as the Knights defeated Flagler College 96-70.

ORLANDO, Fla. — B.J. Taylor led the way with 23 points and eight rebounds as the UCF Knights defeated Flagler College 96-70 in the first of two exhibition games on Tuesday at the CFE Arena.

“It felt great playing against somebody different,” said Taylor of his first collegiate game. “Out here in front of all my friends and family, I’m from right here in Orlando so it was just great to get out there and play against a different team.”

UCF started the game out flat, going into halftime only leading by five points, while being out rebounded 24-22 by Flagler.

Taylor had 12 points and two assists during the opening 20 minutes, and junior college transfer Shaheed Davis led the Knights with six first-half rebounds.

The Knights came out playing much better basketball in the second half, as UCF went on a 28-15 run coming out of halftime.

UCF was without junior guard Matt Williams on Tuesday, as he was still struggling with tendonitis that had been plaguing him for a few days now. UCF head coach Donnie Jones said Williams could play in next week’s exhibition against Georgia College.

Senior forward Staphon Blair finished the game with 17 points, while Davis ended up with 16 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double.

“I thought we got some good touches in the paint from our big guys,” said Jones after the game. “You can see we’ve got the ability to be able to score.”

The Knights were working with six new faces in the lineup, and were running many plays on offense, as they were working more on rotations than the offense.

Freshman guard Adonys Henriquez had six points for the game, but his eight assists are what impressed coach Jones.

“Adonys played extremely well tonight, had eight assists” said Jones. “He passed up a lot of shots, and he can really shoot the ball, I thought he played a really good forward game on two turnovers and really gave us some good minutes.”

UCF will now have a week to look at the film before they take on Georgia College on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. for the last of their exhibition games before the start of the regular season.

“The biggest thing for us is I was looking at how we guarded as a team, how we shared the ball on offense, how we executed,” said Jones about the first exhibition game. “I think the biggest thing for us is that we can take some tape from this, we can take the pluses and the minus and show it on film.