MEMPHIS (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF men’s basketball team’s streak of four straight wins over Memphis came to an end on Sunday, as the Tigers defeated the Knights 77-57 at the FedEx Forum in American Athletic Conference action.
“I didn’t think we defended the way we’re capable of,” UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins said after the game. “Give them a lot of credit. They played with a lot of confidence. Offensive rebounds for them were huge.”
The Tigers (13-7, 5-2) out-rebounded the Knights (15-4, 5-2) 46-28 and grabbed 21 offensive boards in the game. Memphis turned that into 14 second chance points to help propel the Tigers to victory.
“We broke down on the ball a lot,” Dawkins said. “Guys were able to get by us too easily. That’s not our defense. We’ve been playing better on the ball.”
UCF couldn’t get anything going offensively, shooting just 37.9 percent for the game and 23.1 percent from three-point range. The Knights were also just 7-of-14 from the free throw line.
“You’re going to have off days shooting the basketball and we did,” Dawkins said. “We didn’t make shots that we normally make and that’s just part of the game. We have to be tough enough defensively to withstand it.”
Memphis used a balanced attack on offense, putting four in double figures, including 14 from Tyler Harris off the bench. Mike Parks also added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Raynere Thornton turned in a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards.
BJ Taylor led UCF with 10 points in the defeat. He was the only Knight in double figures.
“This is a tough, tough loss for us, but we have to go home and regroup,” Dawkins said. “This is a great league. Everybody’s going to play well. You have to bring your A-Game.”
UCF returns to action on Thursday, as the Knights host UConn at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.
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.