UCF Fastbreak - Feb. 10

Feb. 10, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Following UCF's contest at No. 1 Memphis on Saturday, the Knights were obviously unhappy with their 85-64 loss to the Tigers. Despite the defeat to the nation's lone unbeaten team, according to UCF players, there were positives to take from the meeting with Memphis, especially from the first half.

The Knights shot 48 percent from the floor before intermission and trailed just 43-35 at the break. With UCF executing well offensively, the first half featured eight lead changes and three ties.

"In the first half, we really took our time on offense and tried to get the best shot available," senior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) said.

Memphis, which improved its nation-leading home-winning streak to 46 games, pulled away in the second half thanks to a 24-9 run.

O'Donnell paced the Knights with 15 points. He hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first half, including one from deep that quieted the FedEx Forum crowd.

The Tigers have one of the deepest teams in the nation according to UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. That depth was evident as Memphis reserves accounted for 36 points.

"Our guys played well for the first 15 or 16 minutes," Speraw said. "They executed the gameplan very well. Memphis just wore us down."

The Knights, who traveled back to Orlando on Saturday evening, will have a week off before their next game. The squad plays at Rice in Houston this upcoming Saturday.

As the team begins its preparations for the Owls and looks ahead to the remainder of the season, they will use the Memphis game, especially the first 20 minutes of the contest, as a building block.

"We played the No. 1 team in the nation... there has got to be positives coming from it," senior guard Dave Noel (Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach) said. "We'll go back and watch tape and see all the mistakes that we made and learn from it. That is all we can do."

UCF's next home contest is slated for Feb. 20 against East Carolina at the new UCF Arena. Call 407-UCF-1000 for ticket information.

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.

Notes: After facing the top-ranked Tigers, UCF's strength of schedule is now rated as the 72nd-toughest in the nation according to www.realtimerpi.com. The Knights were facing a nationally-ranked squad for the third time this season... UCF did not practice on Sunday. The Knights will resume their usual afternoon practice schedule on Monday.