Knights Miss Shot to Defeat UAB


Feb. 19, 2011

Final Stats

="" alt="Knight Head" border="0" class="imported"> Read John Denton's Knights Insider | ="" alt="Twitter Logo" border="0" class="imported">Follow us on Twitter | ="" alt="Facebook Logo" border="0" class="imported">Get social with the Knights on Facebook

By Doug Richards

Box Score in PDF Format

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (UCFAthletics.com) - Whether it was a 3-pointer or a layup, shots that normally go in for the Knights did not fall Saturday. As a result, UCF left Bartow Arena with a frustrating 63-58 Conference USA loss to UAB.

The Knights fought hard until the final buzzer, but it was the lack of finishes on the offensive end that cost the team a shot at a victory, snapping UCF's (16-9, 3-9 C-USA) two-game winning streak. UCF shot just 34.0 percent for the game, and made 7-of-23 (30.4 percent) of its attempts from deep.

After UAB (19-7, 9-4) led by as many as 13 points earlier in the contest, UCF got within four points with 6:43 to play when A.J. Rompza hit a pair of free throws. But on the ensuing UAB possession, Jamarr Sanders nailed a triple to give the hosts a 47-40 edge. When the Knights got the ball back, Rompza had the chance to again make it a four-point game, but his 3-point attempt was off the mark.

UAB built its lead up to 10 points, but UCF had the opportunity to cut it to four points with 2:23 to go, but Marcus Jordan, who paced the squad with 18 points, missed a wide-open attempt from deep. UCF immediately went into a full-court press, but the Blazers got what the Knights could not find on Saturday, a big basket. Aaron Johnson found Preston Purifoy for 3-pointer from the corner that handed the Blazers a 56-46 advantage.

UCF got within three points when Rompza hit a 3-pointer with seven seconds on the clock, but then Sanders made both free throw attempts to secure the victory for the hosts.

"Our guys played well defensively," UCF head coach Donnie Jones said. "But we couldn't get a bucket. You've got to be able to score. We've got to be able to make shots."

The Blazers shot 40.9 percent for the game. UAB had four players finish with double figures in scoring, led by Johnson with 19 points.

The game served as the second outing in a three-game road swing for the Knights.

UAB led 30-20 at the break after limiting UCF to just 23.1 percent shooting in the opening stanza.

Rompza finished with 15 points, and Keith Clanton grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds in the losing effort. Clanton also finished with three blocks.

Although the Knights did not shoot well from the field, they made 17-of-18 (94.4 percent) of their free-throw attempts, including 13-of-14 after intermission. The squad's free-throw percentage was good enough for a season high.

UCF will return to action on Monday, facing host UTEP at 1 p.m. Eastern.