UCF Claws Past Houston for First C-USA Win


Jan. 14, 2006

Box Score

HOUSTON - Senior forward Anthony Williams scored a season-high 25 points as UCF won its first Conference USA game, topping host Houston, 66-56, on Saturday evening at Hofheinz Pavilion. The Golden Knights (7-7, 1-1 C-USA) were playing their first conference road game of the season.

UCF's defense limited the Cougars (9-5, 0-2) to just 31 percent shooting from the floor. Houston entered the game averaging 77.5 points per contest, but was held to a season-low 56 points.

"I am very proud of our guys and the effort that they gave for 40 minutes," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "This is probably as significant of a win that our program has ever had. This is just a tremendous win coming on the road and playing an outstanding Houston team."

Senior guard Justin Rose recorded his third double-double of the season, totaling a career-high 14 rebounds to go with 11 points in the winning effort. Williams shot 10-of-14 from the floor and grabbed nine boards.

Sophomore guard Mike O'Donnell helped the Golden Knights handle Houston's pressure. He played all 40 minutes and posted seven points, seven assists and only two turnovers.

UCF shot 50 percent overall and 47.4 percent from the three-point range for the contest as it never trailed during the game.

Houston got within five points with 2:51 remaining in the contest after a dunk by Ramon Dyer. The hosts had a chance to cut the lead to two with just over a minute to play, but Williams blocked a three-point attempt by Lamer Roberson. Williams finished with five blocks, one shy of a career-best.

Senior guard Troy Lindbeck led UCF's reserves, scoring 11 points. He was 3-of-5 from three-point range and matched a season-high with 31 minutes. The Golden Knights finished with a 42-33 edge on the glass.

UCF was making its first appearance in Texas since 1992 when the squad faced UT-Pan American. Both schools were members of the Sun Belt Conference at the time.

In the opening half, UCF shot 57 percent from the field and made seven three-pointers. Williams had six points as the Golden Knights closed the first half with a 10-4 run and led 36-29 at intermission.

Dyer paced the Cougars with 18 points and seven boards. Off of the bench, Brian Latham posted 11 points. Oliver Lafayette, who entered the contest averaging 17.8 points a contest, was limited to only six points on 2-of-13 shooting.

The Golden Knights return to the court on Wednesday, hosting South Dakota State in their final non-conference game of the season. Tip-off at Torchy Clark Court at UCF Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.