Jordan's Big Game Not Enough as Knights Fall at ECU


Feb. 5, 2011

Final Stats

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By Doug Richards

Box Score in PDF Format

GREENVILLE, N.C. (UCFAthletics.com) - During the first half Saturday at East Carolina, UCF played like a team that had spent the last few days stuck in hotels, wishing that its next game would come sooner than later. After the Knights' contest at UTEP Wednesday was postponed due to effects of a winter storm, the squad looked happy to be on the floor at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

And for the first 20 minutes against the much-improved Pirates, UCF got contributions from several players, including Marcus Jordan, and were able to take a five-point edge into halftime. But the strong play did not carry into the second half, and fueled by large and enthusiastic crowd, the Pirates used a big run to grab the lead and take a 68-61 victory over the Knights (14-7, 1-7 Conference USA).

Jordan finished with a game-high 24 points, but when UCF needed buckets, and stops, in the second half, the Knights were unable to have much success. The Pirates, who improved to 13-10 overall and 5-4 in the league with the victory, used a 13-1 run midway in the second half to grab the lead for good. UCF hung around, and got within three points with 3:59 to play after Jordan hit a pair of free throws. But on East Carolina's next possession, Jontae Sherrod hit a jumper to give the hosts a 61-56 edge.

UCF cut the Pirate lead to four points with 57 seconds to go on the clock, and after getting a defensive stop, seemed poised to get within one or two points, but Isaac Sosa was whistled for a travel before launching a 3-point attempt with 12 seconds remaining.

After making 43.8 percent of its shots from the floor in the opening stanza, UCF shot just 6-of-20 (30.0 percent) overall and 0-of-7 from deep in the second half. The Pirates outscored UCF 34-22 after the Knights led 39-34 at intermission.

"I thought we played hard in the first half. I thought we were right where we needed to be," UCF head coach Donnie Jones said. "I thought Marcus really did a good job of keeping us in the game. We needed somebody else at times tonight, and it was unfortunate we weren't able to get that."

Jordan shot 6-of-14, and did most of his damage at the line, where he made 10-of-14 shots. A.J. Tyler was the only other Knight to finish with double figures as he totaled 10 points to go with nine boards in 23 minutes off the bench.

After the contest, Jones was disappointed that the strong first half did not carry into the final 20 minutes of the game.

"We came out in the second half, and five of the first eight possessions, we turned the ball over," he said. "Those were the things we were talking about, like handling runs."

Sherrod led the Pirates with 23 points.

UCF shot 38.5 percent for the game, and just 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) from 3-point range. The Knights totaled 18 turnovers with just 10 assists.

The contest was played in front of 6,567 fans.

UCF will now return home to Orlando, where the Knights will host C-USA power Memphis Wednesday evening.