article image
Matty Magic
January 17, 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. ( - Matt Williams came into Tuesday's game against USF ranked 15th in the nation with 59 three-pointers made on the season. He ended the night with 70 after connecting on a UCF and American Athletic Conference record of 11 in an 86-64 rout of the Bulls at CFE Arena.

Williams scored a career high 38 points on 12-of-23 from the floor and 11-of-21 from beyond the arc. He also went a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line. It marked the most points scored by a Knight since Jermaine Taylor went for 45 back in 2009.

"I realized every team we play, guys will be guarding me pretty hard," Williams said. "I stuck to my routine, kept coming in and working out. I work out before practice. I work out after practice. It's more so staying focused on my routine."

His routine worked out pretty well, as the fifth year senior had 20 points on six threes by halftime. Williams was 6-of-11 from long distance at the break, as UCF (14-4, 5-1 AAC) held a 42-30 lead.

Always selfless, Williams credited his teammates for his success.

"All the credit goes to my teammates, they are my biggest motivators," he said. "In practice, working out, or if I'm missing shots they are telling me to keep shooting. Everything comes from the energy I get off my teammates."

Although it sometimes seems like he can score from half court, much of the time Williams' success comes from his teammates finding him open shots. That was clear on Tuesday night as UCF tied a season high with 18 assists on 26 field goals made.

"What I really loved about it was the people who were the happiest for him were his teammates," UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins said. "That's a really good thing. I think they did a good job of finding him and looking for him when they knew he had it going."

No Knight did it better than sophomore B.J. Taylor, who finished with a game high eight assists. The team's leading scorer the last three games since returning from injury, Taylor allowed Williams to do his thing and continued to try to find him open shots throughout the night.

UCF led the Bulls (6-11, 0-6 AAC) by as many as 30 points late in the second half and never gave away their lead after scoring the first seven points of the game.

The Knights have now started 5-1 in American Athletic Conference play for the first time since joining the league, and at 14-4 overall are out to their best 18-game start since the 2011-12 season.

"I thought our guys played really well tonight," Dawkins said. "I give them a lot of credit. I thought we prepared well but you never know how it's going to go when you step out on the floor. All in all, I think defensively and offensively it was one of our best performances this year."

  • A.J. Davis recorded his second double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
  • The Knights, who came in ranked second in the nation in rebounding, held a 46-30 advantage on the glass Tuesday night.
  • UCF was money from the charity stripe, going 18-of-22 from the free throw line.
  • Tank Efianayi and Tacko Fall also scored in double figures with 12 and 10, respectively.
UCF will next hit the road to take on Memphis. The Knights look for their first road win against the Tigers Sunday at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Knights app right to your iOS or Android phone! The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news.

Purchase season tickets for the 2016 UCF Men's Basketball campaign now. Call 407-UCF-1000 or click here to guarantee your seats for head coach Johnny Dawkins' first season with the Knights.