UCF comes out bruised after loss to Cincinnati


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Kasey Wilson had a double-double with his 12 point, 11 rebound performance against Cincinnati.

ORLANDO — Kasey Wilson had a double-double with a career-high 11 rebounds and 12 points but it wasn’t enough as the UCF Knights fell to the CIncinnati Bearcats 56-46 on Sunday at the CFE Arena.

UCF went into halftime trailing Cincinnati 29-24 after Wilson had five offensive rebound and eight points during the opening 20 minutes of play.

“We put ourselves in position down the stretch here against two very good programs and the thing we need to do is take the next step and finish,” said UCF head coach Donnie Jones following the game. “That’s always the beauty of this when you’re trying to win in conference play.”

The Knights would play the second half without starting guard B.J. Taylor — who came out of the game late in the first half after taking an elbow from Justin McBride — but would cut the Bearcats lead to as much as three points midway through the second half after a 7-1 made it a 42-39 game.

“We played hard all game and we gave ourselves an opportunity to win,” said Wilson. “That’s a really good basketball team, we just didn’t execute how coach wanted us to.”

Jones would confirm after the game that Taylor left  with concussion-like symptoms and the staff is still waiting on a final conclusion on the extent of his injury. Adonys Henriquez was also banged up during the game after taking a hit to his knee, coach Jones also said that Henriquez would likely need an MRI.

“We’re still waiting to see what the issue will be for him,” said Jones of Taylor’s injury. “But he obviously took a hard hit, it was a crazy play, Justin McBride got him in with an elbow on a rebound, so he’s having concussion symptoms at this point and he wasn’t able to be able to come back in to play.

“We need to watch him here for a couple days and hopefully he recovers from that quickly, and obviously Adonys, he took a tough fall in the game and we’ve got to watch him and probably have to get an MRI on his knee to make sure he’s alright.”

Despite the loss of their point guard UCF did manage to have three players with double-digit points with Wilson scoring 12, Daiquan Walker with 11 and Brandon Goodwin with another 10 points.

The Bearcats were led by Kevin Johnson’s 13 points as he was the only Cincinnati player to score double-digits, but the Bearcats did have four different players with seven points or more.

Wilson’s double-double was his second of the season and fifth of his career tying him with his previous career-high of 11 rebounds, which he set on against Florida Tech on Dec. 1, 2012.

“That effort that we got from him tonight that’s what we’ve been looking for,” said Jones of Wilson’s performance. “He continues each game to make strides.”

Cincinnati would hold UCF to just seven points after the run and put the game away from the free throw line during the final minute of play.

The loss drops the Knights (9-10) below .500 for the first time this season and gives them a 2-6 record in American Athletic Conference play. UCF is now on a three-game losing streak, with all three losses coming against conference powerhouse programs such as Memphis and UCONN.

“We’re just trying to actually win these games and put UCF on the map and let people know we can compete with these teams…” said Wilson after the game. “Us playing close, yea it’s good, but we’re still trying to win so we’re just going to go harder in practice and work on the mistakes we’ve made and execution.”

UCF will return to CFE Arena to take on Temple on Wednesday, Jan, 28 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.