UCF Defends Home Court Against SMU

Lakota Mezger

UCF’s men’s basketball team dominated the SMU Mustangs in their home CFE Arena 95-48 on Sunday. The Knight’s (20-6, 10-4 AAC) offensive and defensive execution to start the game led to a wave of momentum that they rode until the end.

Knights’ Head Coach Johnny Dawkins was impressed with his team’s performance.

“I thought our guys came out right from the tip, and they followed the game plan and were locked in defensively, and that first 4 minutes you know I thought was amazing,” Dawkins told the media after the game. “I don’t think we’ve played better in a 4-minute span than that 4 minutes that we played during SMU.”

UCF’s standout Center, Tacko Fall, led both teams in scoring with 23 points. He shot 11-14 from the field and had 20 rebounds – with a tone-setting dunk within the first 20 seconds of the game.

Aubrey Dawkins followed that with a clutch three-point jumper. Fall, Dawkins, Collin Smith, and Terrell Allen all got the team up 16-0, Five minutes into the first half. B.J. Taylor brought in 14 total points for the team.

The Knights went to half time with a 41-18 lead and kept more than a 20 point lead until the end of the second half.

SMU (13-13, 5-9 AAC) fell to 9th place in the American Athletic Conference.

The Mustangs’ scored only 18 points in the first half, their lowest of the season. Jimmy Whitt Jr. had 7 rebounds, Jahmal McMurray scored 8 points, and the teams leading scorer was Ethan Chargois with 9 points.

UCF is currently ranked 3rd in the AAC, two games behind 2nd place Cincinnati. The Knights will go to Tampa to play their rival South Florida on Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.