UCF Comes Up Just Short Against Ole Miss


Dec. 8, 2007

Box Score | Notes

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Facing a Southeastern Conference opponent at home for the first time since 1997, the UCF men's basketball team came up just short against Ole Miss on Saturday evening at the new UCF Arena, falling 76-67. The Knights (4-4), who trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half, got within one point with three minutes to play, but were doomed by a pair of turnovers.

The contest was played in front of a school-record 5,574 fans. Junior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) paced the Knights with a game-high 19 points.

The Rebels, who improved to 7-0 with the win, are currently receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

Ole Miss led 62-49 with nine minutes to play, but the hosts responded with a 12-0 run, getting within a point on a Taylor trey.

UCF had the chance to take the lead with three minutes to go, but turned the ball over on consecutive possessions. The Rebels closed the game on a 12-4 run.

The Rebels led 42-32 at intermission after shooting 45.2 percent in the opening half, compared to 35.5 for the Knights. Ole Miss began the second half with a 15-6 spurt.

The Knights shot 41.8 percent from the field, but made just 5-of-22 shots (22.7 percent) from 3-point range.

"It was a frustrating game. Give credit to Ole Miss and the way they played," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "Our defense had its moments. We need to get into a better rhythm from an offensive standpoint."

Taylor was one of three UCF players to finish with double-figures. Senior guard Dave Noel (Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach) totaled 14 points and a game-high nine boards. In addition to a career-best six steals, senior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) totaled 11 points.

Chris Warren led four Ole Miss players in double-digits with 18 points. Trevor Gaskins added 13 points in just 16 minutes.

UCF will return to action on Tuesday, hosting Louisiana-Lafayette at 7 p.m. at the new UCF Arena.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel, log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out www.ucfphotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.