Knights Shut Down Southern Miss in C-USA Win


Jan. 8, 2008

Box Score | Notes

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (www.ucfathletics.com) - UCF senior guard Dave Noel (Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach) scored a game-high 17 points as the Knights shut down host Southern Miss, posting a 52-41 victory in the Conference USA opener for both teams on Tuesday at the Reed Green Coliseum. The 41 points scored by Southern Miss was the second-fewest recorded against the Knights since the program moved to the Division I level in 1984.

UCF (8-7, 1-0 C-USA) limited the Golden Eagles (8-7, 0-1) to just 15 points in the first half. Southern Miss made just 15 field goals for the contest and shot just 31.9 percent from the floor. The hosts went 1-of-10 from 3-point range.

"I am proud of our all-around effort. This was easily our best defensive effort of the year," UCF head coach Kirk Speraw said. "Our defense created easy shots for our offense."

After leading 20-15 at the break, UCF led by as many as 14 points in the second half.

Noel was one of three Knights that finished with double-figures in scoring. Junior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) totaled 13 points to go with a game-high eight boards. Senior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished with 10 points in the win.

UCF's defense was strong early as the Knights held Southern Miss scoreless for nine minutes early in the first half. The hosts led 3-2 after a free throw from Courtney Beasley at the 18:48 mark, but the Golden Eagles did not score until Jeremy Wise made two foul shots with 9:51 to play in the half.

In the meantime, the Knights built a nine-point advantage. When senior guard Chip Cartwright (Houston, Texas/Phillis Wheatley) found sophomore forward Tony Davis (Sarasota, Fla./Riverview) on a fastbreak for an easy dunk, UCF led 12-3 eight minutes into the period.

Jeremy Wise paced the hosts with 14 points.

UCF is set to return to action on Saturday, hosting Tulsa in the inaugural C-USA game at the new UCF Arena. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

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