UCF Knights hold on to win against Georgia Southern


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

UCF Knights will travel to Tallahassee to face the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, at 2 p.m. on ESPN3.

The UCF Knights overcame turnovers and a late-game run from the Georgia Southern Eagles on Tuesday night to earn a 61-59 win at CFE Arena in front of an announced crowd of 3,544.

The Knights held the Eagles to just 37 percent shooting in the game and limited their offense to no field goals during the final 4:33 of play. Despite their shooting woes, the Eagles were able to keep it competitive due to 22 turnovers from the Knights, which they turned into 18 points.

“This team is finding ways to win close games early on which is what you’re always trying to figure out,” Knights head coach Donnie Jones said.” As I told our guys, we just got to find ways to win regardless of what the score has been or how many times you’ve turned it over; it’s all about the last two minutes of the game.”

No team led by more than five points during the game and both teams traded leads in the second half. The Eagles were led by guard Jelani Hewitt with 17 points, on 5-of-20 shooting from the field. Coming into the game, Hewitt was fifth in the nation in scoring with 22.4 points per game.

The Eagles took a 58-55 lead on a three-pointer by Howell with 4:33 to play, but failed to score a field goal for the duration of the game.

After the Eagles took the lead, Knights guard Daiquan Walker hit a three-pointer to tie the game and then made a free throw on the ensuing possession to give the team a one-point lead. Kasey Wilson’s put-back tip-in with 29 seconds left put the Knights up by two points.

The Knights received solid production off of their bench to help offset the loss of B.J. Taylor, who sat out his second consecutive game with an ankle injury. Myles Davis contributed eight points off of the bench and Justin McBride chipped in 10 of his 14 points in the second half to help the Knights win.

“Myles stepped up big and I thought Justin came off of the bench with 14 and 7 in 21 minutes and helped us in that zone,” Jones said. “We just really struggled when we caught it in there other than Justin who could just go and score we were not doing a good job with our four’s — Kasey and Shaheed. We just keep hoping that guys can step up and help us until we can get B.J. back in here healthy.”

The Knights began their first six games of the season at home and went 5-1 on the homestand. The team will now travel to Tallahassee to face the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday at 2 p.m. on ESPN3.