UCF Records C-USA Road Win at Marshall


Jan. 13, 2007

Box Score | Notes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Junior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) hit four 3-pointers in the second half and finished with a team-high 20 points to lift the UCF men's basketball team to a 78-71 Conference USA victory over host Marshall at the Cam Henderson Center on Saturday evening. The Golden Knights, who improved to 12-4 overall and 1-1 in league play, were playing on the road for the fourth-straight game.

O'Donnell drained all four his treys and had 14 points as UCF opened the second half with a 24-9 run. The Golden Knights, who led by four at intermission, went up by 19 points with 12:54 to go in the contest after O'Donnell nailed his fourth triple.

Marshall (5-11, 0-3 C-USA) battled back and got within six with two minutes to play, but senior forward Josh Peppers (Memphis, Tenn./Whitehaven) gave UCF a 74-66 edge with 1:19 after making a reverse layup.

"This was a hard-fought game," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "We made some shots in the second half and were lucky to hold on. We had a hard time scoring in the last six or seven minutes of the game. I thought our guys had good focus and made a great run at the start of the second half. I give Marshall a lot of credit for battling back."

In the victory, junior guard Dave Noel (Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach) recorded a career-high 17 points. He was 8-of-8 at the free-throw line and added six rebounds. UCF shot 15-of-18 (83.3 percent) at the charity stripe.

The Thundering Herd led 39-35 with 2:31 to go in the first half following a Taurean Marshall jumper. Peppers had four points as UCF closed the period with an 8-0 run. After junior guard Mike Battle (Waldorf, Md./Southern Maryland Christian Academy) scored on a tip-in with three seconds on the clock, the Golden Knights took a 43-39 advantage into halftime.

Peppers finished with 16 points. Senior forward Lavell Payne (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dillard) played just 21 minutes due to foul trouble and registered seven points and a team-high seven rebounds. O'Donnell dished out five assists and shot 7-of-9 from the field.

UCF shot 51.9 percent overall and 46.7 percent from 3-point range.

Markel Humphrey was 10-of-14 from the floor and totaled 25 points in the loss. He also had eight rebounds in 38 minutes. Mark Dorris chipped in with 15 points for Marshall. The Thundering Herd grabbed 25 offensive boards and had a 40-31 overall advantage on the glass.

UCF limited Marshall to just 27.3 percent shooting from deep. The hosts shot 41 percent overall, but just 60 percent at the free-throw line.

The Golden Knights return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 17, hosting league rival SMU. Tip-off at UCF Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.

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