WICHITA, Kan. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF men’s basketball team had its seven-game win streak snapped Wednesday, falling on the road at Wichita State by a score of 75-67. The Knights dropped its first game in American Athletic Conference play and fell to 13-3 overall with the defeat.
"Give them credit," UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins said. "They played inspired. They played really good basketball. They set the tone early and their play off of the energy was terrific."
UCF (13-3, 3-1) shot just 34.6 percent from the field in the first half and fell behind early against the Shockers. Wichita State (8-8, 1-3) shot nearly 50 percent in the first frame and held a 33-25 lead at the break.
"We hang our hat on the defensive end and I'm really disappointed with our defensive effort," Dawkins said. "Give them credit for running good action, but we have to be better defensively. That's not who we've been. It's very disappointing."
Things didn’t change early in the second half, as the Shockers extended their lead to as many as 12 points before the Knights charged back.
UCF cut the Wichita State lead to just one point, at 47-46 with just over 11 minutes to play, on back-to-back three-pointers by Aubrey Dawkins. The Shockers countered though, as Markis McDuffie hit one of his two threes in the game on the next possession.
The Knights made one final run, connecting on two straight conventional three-point plays. Dawkins and Tacko Fall each converted the and-one to make it 63-62 with just 2:42 to play, but that’s as close as UCF would get, as the Shockers held on for the eight-point victory.
Wichita State shot 51.9 percent for the game, while UCF was connected on just 42.3 percent. The Shockers were a near-perfect 17-of-18 from the free throw line. The Shockers also outrebounded the Knights 35-22 for the game.
Dawkins led UCF with 22 points, while BJ Taylor added 15 in the defeat. McDuffie led three Shockers in double figures with a game-high 23 points. Samajae Haynes-Jones had 14, while Jamarius Burton chipped in with 12.
The Knights return to action Saturday at home. UCF hosts Tulsa at noon at CFE Arena.
TICKETS FOR 2018-19
Fans can purchase tickets for the 2018-19 UCF men's basketball season by calling (407) 823-1000 or online here: https://ucfknights.co/mbb1819tix.