(M) Basketball

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Won the War
February 14, 2018
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ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) - Veteran leadership stepped up once again late in the season for the UCF men's basketball team, as A.J. Davis and B.J. Taylor combined for 47 points in a 72-57 victory over USF Wednesday night at CFE Arena.

Davis backed up his impressive performance at Memphis on Sunday with an even better outing in the win over the Bulls. The senior scored a career high 26 points - on 9-of-12 shooting from the floor - and grabbed a game high nine rebounds.

Over the last two games Davis is averaging 23 points and nine rebounds while shooting a blistering 82 percent from the field. The versatile forward also matched a career-best by making all three of his attempts from beyond the arc.

"He's more decisive and playing with a lot of confidence," UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins said of Davis. "It's (about) how you want to leave your legacy? He has a chance to leave an amazing one and I think he sees that and he wants to make the most of the opportunity."

Taylor, meanwhile, also scored over 20 points for the second game in a row. He finished with 21 for his fourth 20-point effort in eight games since returning from a foot injury. The point guard also dished out a game and season high six assists, while only turning the ball over one time in 36 minutes.

"I thought B.J. was terrific," Dawkins said. "He controlled the game. Not only now did he score, but he made so many really good passes to open shooters. That really helped us down the stretch."

Leading by just six points at the half, the Knights used a 9-1 run midway through the second to take a 62-48 lead and ultimately put the Bulls (8-19, 1-13) away. Not surprisingly, Taylor and Davis scored all nine points during the timely spurt.

Davis and Taylor elevated the UCF (16-9, 7-6) offense yet again on Wednesday, as the Knights shot better than 50 percent from the floor for the second straight game (52.2).

With the program's all-time three-point leader Matt Williams back in the building for the first time this season, the Black and Gold was also extremely efficient from beyond the arc. The Knights knocked down a season high nine three-pointers and were 9-of-18 (50.0) from long distance, which was also a season best percentage.

Dayon Griffin connected on four of his six attempts from three-point range, marking a season best for threes made in a game. Griffin finished with 12 points and six rebounds off the bench.

At 16-9 and 7-6 in American Athletic Conference play, the Knights are one game ahead of where they were at this point last season. In 2016-17, UCF won its final five games of the regular season to finish 20-10 and ignite its run to the NIT.

"I think our guys are locked in. They're really focused. We know we're coming down the stretch and we have a lot to play for. Our league is so good and it's so competitive in the middle that there are so many opportunities to continue to get better and to move within our conference. I think our guys want to take advantage of those opportunities."

UP NEXT
UCF will next stay at home and host SMU on Saturday Feb. 17. The Knights and the Mustangs will tip off at 11 a.m. from CFE Arena as UCF aims to even the season series.

SEASON TICKETS
Tickets for the 2017-18 campaign are on sale now. Fans looking to purchase tickets can call (407) 823-1000 or visit UCFKnights.com to secure them today. For men's basketball tickets CLICK HERE.

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