Knights Fall To Thundering Herd


Feb. 23, 2008

Box Score | Notes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Senior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) scored 20 points, but it was not enough as the UCF men's basketball team came up short at Marshall on Saturday, falling 71-66 at the Cam Henderson Center. The Thundering Herd (15-11, 7-6 Conference USA) made 32 trips to the free-throw line, making 27 shots.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Knights (14-12, 7-5).

UCF got within six points with 2:17 to go in the game after a triple from senior guard Dave Noel (Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach), but then O'Donnell and junior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) missed 3-point attempts on UCF's next possession and the Knights could not cut the deficit.

The hosts made 11 foul shots in the last two minutes of the game.

After leading by one point at halftime, the hosts pulled away with a 9-2 run at the start of the second half. Marshall shot 55.6 percent after the break.

"This is a tough place to play and our guys did not take care of the details. The early foul problems really hurt us," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "We need to fight through those kind of things."

Marshall took a 25-24 edge into intermission. The first half featured five lead changes and four ties as both teams struggled with their shooting. The Knights shot 29.6 percent from the floor before halftime, with the hosts making just 31.6 percent of their attempts.

UCF was whistled for 11 fouls in the first half as five different Knights were called for two fouls before the break.

O'Donnell scored 13 of his points in the first 20 minutes.

For the game, the Knights shot 40 percent from the floor and 34.5 percent from 3-point range. O'Donnell hit four 3-pointers. Noel totaled 14 points and a team-best eight boards for the Knights. Taylor finished with 10 points.

Tyler Wilkerson led all players with 22 points and 15 boards for Marshall. Mark Dorris added 18 for the hosts.

Marshall shot 45.7 percent overall and 84.4 percent at the free-throw line.

The Knights will return to action on Wednesday, hosting Tulane at the new UCF Arena. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

Including the game with the Green Wave, UCF has two home contests remaining in 2007-08.

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.