Taylor Helps Men's Basketball Roll to Season-Opening Win


Nov. 16, 2008

Final Stats | Notes | Photo Gallery Video Highlights Courtesy of Bright House Sports Network

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.) recorded a double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds as the UCF men's basketball team rolled to an 81-62 season-opening win over North Carolina A&T at the UCF Arena Sunday afternoon. Taylor was one of four Knights who finished with double-figures in points.

UCF (1-0) shot 50 percent overall for the game and also posted a 44-25 rebounding edge. Playing in his first career game, freshman guard Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) hit four 3-pointers and finished with 18 points in the victory. He scored 16 points before halftime.

The Knights led 47-39 at the break, but the Aggies (1-1) got within three points with 11:36 to go in the second half after Robert Johnson made a free throw. Sophomore forward A.J. Tyler (Palm Harbor, Fla.) scored inside on UCF's next possession, sparking a 22-6 run to close the contest.

Taylor had six points during the spurt at the end of the game, which was highlighted by a slam dunk over a North Carolina A&T defender by freshman forward Dave Diakite (Washington, D.C.).

No UCF player spent more than 28 minutes on the court. Six true freshmen saw action for the Knights, who feature one of the youngest teams in the nation.

"I think that this is going to be a team that has tremendous depth," UCF head coach Kirk Speraw said. "We've got a lot of weapons, a lot of people who can play. We have a lot of guys that when they start to understand what we are doing, they'll be able to put the ball in the basket."

Taylor scored 22 points before intermission. The double-double was the first of his career. He connected on 11-of-21 shots from the field and also added four assists.

The Aggies raced out to a 9-2 lead to start the game. Taylor got the Knights back into the contest, scoring the team's next seven points to tie the score five minutes into the contest.

Leading 40-39 with 1:46 to play in the opening half, the hosts closed the period on a 7-0 run, getting a triple from sophomore guard Taylor Young (Orlando, Fla.), a jumper from freshman forward P.J. Gaynor (Jacksonville, Fla.) and a layup from Taylor as the clock expired.

Sosa made 7-of-12 shots from the floor in his UCF debut. He logged 26 minutes off the bench. Tyler, a transfer from Clemson, totaled 11 points and five boards playing for the Knights for the first time. Gaynor added 10 points off of the bench.

Young led all players with a career-high eight assists. Diakite totaled seven rebounds in the winning effort.

North Carolina A&T shot 40 percent overall. Reserve Nicholas Wilson paced the Aggies with 17 points.

The contest marked the start of year two for the Knights at the state-of-the-art UCF Arena. The facility opened last November.

UCF will return to action on Tuesday, playing at Valparaiso. The contest will begin a stretch of five-consecutive games away from home for the Knights. The team's next home game is Dec. 6 against cross-state foe USF.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.