UCF Knights Easily Defeat ECU Pirates 89-69

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Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

A.J. Davis finished with 19 points to lead the Knights.

The UCF men’s basketball team started fast and didn’t let up Saturday afternoon, as the Knights poured it on East Carolina 89-69 to sweep the Pirates on the season.

UCF (9-6, 3-1 AAC) was able to score from inside and outside at will throughout the conference affair, shooting nearly 67 percent from the field in the first half. The Knights shot 50 percent from behind the arc, with eight three pointers and scored 60 points in the first half, a feat that hadn’t happened since 2004.

“Obviously shots went down and we were able to share the basketball, but I thought we were playing on both ends of the floor,” UCF head coach Donnie Jones said. “A lot of good efforts for guys tonight, I thought we played very unselfish.”

A.J. Davis, Adonys Henriquez and Daiquan Walker led the five Knights in double figures with 13 points apiece, as UCF would finish with a season high 12 three-pointers. Big men Justin McBride and Tacko Fall added 12 points, with McBride also recording his first double-double of the season, pulling down 11 rebounds.

ECU (8-10, 0-5 AAC) had no answer for the shooting frenzy in the opening half. Matt Williams led the early charge with nine points, all from three-point land. Six Knights would hit at least one three in the opening 20 and the Knights went into the locker room up 60-32.

The mantra around UCF nowadays is ‘UCFAST’ and with new head football coach Scott Frost in attendance for the contest, the Knights channeled some of that high-tempo play against the Pirates.

“I think those guys are starting to buy in and trust each other,” Jones said. “That’s a key factor. The trust and the chemistry with the guys on the floor, especially with the first five.”

UCF out-rebounded the Pirates 48-27, including 14 offensive boards. ECU made a valiant effort at a comeback with a heavy press in the second half, but the hot shooting continued for the Knights. With 13:06 remaining, UCF extended their lead to 36-points and coasted for the victory.

The Knights will next travel to Tampa on Wednesday to take on rival USF for a 7 p.m. tip-off on ESPNews. UCF recently defeated the Bulls, 75-64, at CFE Arena on Jan. 6.