Knights Defeat USF in Front of Boisterous UCF Arena Crowd


Dec. 6, 2008

Final Stats | Notes | Photo Gallery

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.) recorded 30 points as the UCF men's basketball team beat USF for the first time since 1994, posting a 71-63 win over the Bulls on Saturday evening at the UCF Arena. The contest was played in front of 6,695 fans - the second-largest crowd in UCF history.

Taylor was one of three players to finish with double-digits in scoring for the Knights, who improved to 4-3 with the win. UCF limited the BIG EAST's Bulls (3-3) to just three points in the final four minutes of the contest. Taylor scored six points as the hosts closed the game on a 10-3 run.

Dominique Jones finished with 31 points for the Bulls, but had just six points in the final 10 minutes of the game.

"Our guys did a tremendous job of competing and fighting hard... that is a good South Florida team," UCF head coach Kirk Speraw said. "Those guards are very good. They are hard to defend. Our guys competed their tails off to defend them. We did enough good things offensive to get some easy buckets."

Junior forward Tony Davis (Sarasota, Fla.) totaled a career-high 17 points in the win.

The Knights snapped a nine-game losing streak to USF with the victory.

A jumper by Taylor put UCF up four points with 2:32 to play. The Bulls could get no closer as Jones missed a shot on USF's next possession and Taylor then answered with another basket to give the hosts a 66-60 edge with 1:30 remaining.

The Knights forced 15 turnovers after intermission. UCF shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half.

The contest was the first for the Knights in Orlando since the team opened the regular season on Nov. 16.

USF was in command for most of the first half and led 28-19 with four minutes on the clock after a pair of Jones free throws. Sophomore forward A.J. Tyler (Palm Harbor, Fla.) then sparked a 7-0 run to close the half for the Knights with a basket. After junior guard Drew Speraw (Oviedo, Fla.) hit a triple from the corner with two seconds left, UCF trailed 28-26 at the break.

Taylor connected on 12-of-20 shots from the field and made three 3-pointers. Senior center Kenrick Zondervan (Hoofddorp, Holland) added 11 points in the win. Freshman guard A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) dished out a game-high eight assists for the Knights.

UCF shot 44.6 percent overall and recorded 11 steals, with Davis picking up six.

Jones and fellow guard Jesus Verdejo combined to score 47 of USF's 63 points. Verdejo finished with 15 points. Jones made 11-of-17 shots from the field and went 7-of-11 at the free-throw line.

The Bulls shot 41.5 percent overall, but just 53.8 percent at the line. USF finished with a 39-30 edge on the glass.

UCF will return to action Friday, hosting Florida Tech at 7 p.m.

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.