UCF Shoots Down UTEP


Jan. 23, 2008

Final Stats | Notes

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Behind a school-record tying 70.2 percent shooting performance from the field, the UCF men's basketball team crushed UTEP, 109-80, on Wednesday night at the new UCF Arena. The 109 points were the most for the Knights (11-7, 4-0 Conference USA) since the 2003-04 campaign and tied for fourth in C-USA history.

Junior Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) paced UCF with 24 points, including 17 in the second half. Taylor was one of a season-high five Knights to score in double-digits.

UCF is off to a 4-0 start in C-USA play and improved to 8-2 at home in its first campaign at the new UCF Arena with the victory.

The Knights shot 40-of-57 from the floor and made 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) of their 3-point attempts. UCF made 21 field goals in the first half, compared to just 11 for the Miners (11-6, 2-2).

"Defensively, we were very good in the first half. That set the tone for the entire game," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "It was a fun game for our guys and a fun game for the fans."

UCF opened the game hitting its first seven shots, taking a 17-8 lead over the Miners, before its first miss of the contest.

The Knights shot 67.7 percent from the floor in the opening half and made 7-of-9 (77.8 percent) from deep. UCF closed the first half on a 16-6 run.

Behind 16 first-half points from senior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) and 14 from senior guard Dave Noel (Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach), UCF took a 56-31 lead into intermission. The 56 points in the half were the most scored by the Knights this season.

The hosts never trailed during the contest and led by as many as 31 late in the second half. The Knights posted their largest victory margin over a league opponent since joining C-USA prior to the 2005-06 season.

O'Donnell went 6-of-6 from deep, tying his own school record for single-game 3-point field goal percentage. He finished with 19 points. Noel totaled 17 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the floor.

Taylor hit three triples and made 9-of-12 of his field-goal attempts. Sophomore forward Tony Davis (Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota) scored 16 points off of the bench in the win, while senior guard Chip Cartwright (Houston, Texas/Phillis Wheatley) contributed with 13 points, a team-high eight rebounds and a game-high seven assists.

The Knights recorded 25 assists and just 11 turnovers during the contest.

UCF's performance from the field tied the school's single-game record. Against Samford on Feb. 26, 1998, the Knights also shot 40-of-57 for a 70.2 percent clip.

UCF limited the Miners' Stefon Jackson, who entered the contest sixth nationally in scoring at 23.6 points per game, to 17 points in 35 minutes.

UTEP shot 43.9 percent overall for the game.

UCF returns to action on Saturday, facing SMU in Dallas. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. EST.

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 UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.