Taylor Guides UCF Past Marshall


Feb. 6, 2008

Final Stats | Notes

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - UCF junior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) scored a career-high 34 points to lift the UCF men's basketball team to 77-63 victory over Marshall in Conference USA play at the new UCF Arena on Wednesday evening. With a basket in the second half, Taylor became the 14th 1,000-point scorer in UCF (12-10, 5-3 C-USA) history.

For the game, Taylor shot 14-of-23 from the field. He recorded more than half of the Knights' 27 made field goals.

The hosts led by as many as 10 points early in the second half, but the Thundering Herd (11-10, 3-5) stayed in the game. Marshall trailed 61-58 with 4:19 to play after a layup from Markel Humphrey, but the Knights responded on their next possession as freshman forward Jean Michel Yotio (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) grabbed an offensive rebound and scored inside.

Yotio's basket sparked a 15-3 UCF run. Senior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) helped build the edge to 66-58 with a triple with 3:09 on the clock. After the Knights made seven of eight shots from the foul line, Taylor capped the run with a breakaway slam dunk with 35 seconds remaining that gave the hosts a 75-61 advantage.

Taylor has led the Knights in scoring in 19 of the squad's 22 games this season. He has scored 1,011 points during his career at UCF.

"I am proud of Jermaine and his approach to things. He is trying to improve and get better," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "I thought he was efficient (tonight) and took what the defense gave him."

UCF shot 51.9 percent overall in the second half and 45 percent for the game.

Marshall led 18-10 with 11:25 to go in the first half following a 3-pointer from Darryl Merthie. Taylor kept his team close, scoring 16 points before intermission.

He scored seven points as the hosts closed the half with a 9-1 run to take a 34-30 edge into intermission.

The contest concluded a three-game homestand for the Knights.

O'Donnell hit three treys and finished with 13 points. Senior guard Dave Noel (Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach) totaled 11 points in the victory.

Four Marshall players finished with double-figures in scoring. Tyler Wilkerson had a double-double in the losing effort, registering 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Knights, who recorded a season-high 12 steals, forced 17 Thundering Herd turnovers.

UCF will play its next two games on the road. The squad begins the stretch on Saturday at No. 1 Memphis. Tip-off from the FedEx Forum is set for 4 p.m. EST and the contest will be televised live nationally on CSTV.

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