Peppers Lifts UCF Past East Carolina in Regular-Season Finale


March 3, 2007

Box Score | Notes

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Playing in his final home contest, senior forward Josh Peppers (Memphis, Tenn./Whitehaven) scored a game-high 25 points to lift the UCF men's basketball team to a 77-64 Conference USA victory over East Carolina on Saturday evening at the UCF Arena. The game was the regular-season finale for the Golden Knights (22-8, 11-5 C-USA).

Peppers shot 8-of-12 from the field for the game and recorded 21 of his points before halftime. The Pirates (6-23, 1-15) made 53.5 percent of their field goals, but committed 16 turnovers.

The contest served as the Golden Knights' final game at the UCF Arena. The program will move into the new Convocation Center on campus. Peppers, forward Lavell Payne (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dillard) and center Adam Gill (Springboro, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) were all playing at home for the final time.

"There is no better way to send off the seniors," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "They came out with great energy. We needed that."

The Golden Knights led 41-29 at halftime, but East Carolina got within six points after Gabe Blair scored inside with eight minutes to go in the game. Peppers and junior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) both canned triples as UCF pulled away with a 10-0 run. Junior center Stanley Billings (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge) had a pair of layups during the spurt.

Payne finished with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting. O'Donnell made 5-of-9 from deep to record 15 points. He also registered a game-high eight assists and four steals in 33 minutes.

UCF shot 50.9 percent overall for the contest. The Golden Knights improved to 15-1 at home this season with the win. The 15 victories in Orlando are good for a school single-season record.

Cory Farmer paced the Pirates with 21 points. Courtney Captain added 14 points and Blair posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.

UCF will return to the hardwood on Thursday, March 8, competing in the quarterfinals at the C-USA Championship in Memphis, Tenn. UCF will play at 1 p.m. Eastern and the team's possible opponents will be determined later this evening.

For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights, tickets or apparel, log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.