Goodwin, Memphis too much for the UCF Knights

Produced by Bryce Brimhall

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Danny Morales

A.J. Davis finished with 15 points and eight rebounds in the 97-86 loss to Memphis.

Memphis center Shaq Goodwin was too much to handle for the UCF basketball team, as his career game fueled the Tigers past the Knights 97-86.

Goodwin scored 35 points, pulled down nine rebounds and also dished out six assists to halt Memphis’ losing streak to two Tuesday night at CFE Arena. The senior center imposed his will throughout the contest, as UCF had no answer for the big man.

“He runs the floor really well,” said UCF’s A.J. Davis. “We just didn’t do a good job in transition and he came out and got some easy buckets to get get going.”

UCF’s (10-8, 4-3) own big fella, Justin McBride, did his best to contain Goodwin, while also scoring 20 points to lead the Knights. Davis finished with 15 points, and eight rebounds.

The first half opened a tight, back and forth affair, until the three-ball started falling for Memphis (13-7, 4-3). With the game all tied up at 27 with 6:07 to play in the opening 20 minutes, the Tigers used a 25-13 run to end the half, opening up a 14 point lead at the break.

Goodwin had 24 of his 35 in the first half, as his play opened up the shooters for Memphis. The Tigers hit seven of their 12 three-point baskets in the first half, and shot over 50 percent from the field.

“The thing with Shaq that makes him doubly-dangerous is you can feed him the ball and play out of the post,” said UCF head coach Donnie Jones. “They were getting him the ball in the middle of that zone, and he was able to make plays.”

UCF showed plenty of grit coming out of the locker room to start the second half. The Knights used an 8-0 run to cut the gap to four, but four points was as close as UCF would get for the remainder of the game.

“We got it within four a couple times, but then we had some big time turnovers,” McBride said. “We got to tighten up. It’s so hard to play from behind in this conference.”

Adonys Henriquez had 13 points, while Matt Williams chipped in 10, to go along with six rebounds.

UCF will next take on the UConn Huskies (14-5, 4-2) this Sunday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m EST from CFE Arena.