Golden Knights Claim UCF Holiday Classic Title


Dec. 30, 2006

Final Stats | Notes

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Junior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) had 17 points and 10 rebounds as the UCF men's basketball team defeated Texas Pan-American 88-62 Saturday in the championship game of the UCF Holiday Classic at the UCF Arena. O'Donnell, who was named the tournament's MVP, finished an assist shy of a triple-double as he also had nine helpers.

Senior forward Josh Peppers (Memphis, Tenn./Whitehaven) led UCF (10-2) with 18 points and Jermaine Taylor added 17 off the bench for a Golden Knight offense that shot 57.7 percent (30-for-52) from the floor.

The Broncs (8-6) were held to a 33.3 percent (19-for-57) clip. UTPA's Brian Burrell led all scorers with 27 points and was only Bronc in double figures. UTPA is coached by former UCF assistant coach Tom Schuberth.

"We played with a little more focus and energy today," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "We knew going in that Pan-Am plays very hard. I give credit to coach Schuberth and his staff. They fought hard the entire game."

UCF put the game away in the first half as the hosts connected on four 3-pointers during a 20-3 run midway through the period that pushed their lead to 34-12 at the 7:01 mark. For the half, UCF made 6-of-9 attempts from 3-point range, while UTPA made only 2-of-14 shots from behind the arc.

The Golden Knights held a 40-25 advantage on the glass as Tony Davis joined O'Donnell with 10 rebounds. UCF is 8-0 at home this season.

Peppers joined O'Donnell on the all-tournament team. Burrell and Colin Lien, who had seven points and five rebounds in the contest, were the Broncs' representatives. James Madison's Pierre Curtis and New Jersey Tech's Kraig Peters, who had 20 points in the consolation game, rounded out the team.

UCF will play its next four games on the road and will return to the hardwood on Jan. 3 at Colorado.

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