Knights Unable to Pull Upset at No. 24 Florida State


Nov. 14, 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

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Last December after UCF knocked off Miami in south Florida, reporters wrote that the Knights were the state champions. With the win over the Hurricanes and triumphs over No. 16 Florida and USF, the Knights owned victories over three of the four "power-conference" programs in the Sunshine State.

UCF was aiming for another big in-state victory Monday, but No. 24 Florida State used its size inside to post a 73-50 victory over the Knights. The Seminoles, who consistently have been one of the premier defensive teams in the nation, limited the Knights to just 30.5 percent shooting overall and a 20.0 percent (6-of-30) showing from 3-point range.

"Give credit to Florida State. They are a good team," UCF head coach Donnie Jones said. "Tonight, we had to make some shots from the outside, and we didn't do a good job of that. Give Florida State credit. Their length, their athleticism and size really bothered us."

UCF and Florida State were playing for the first time since 1988. The Knights were led by Tristan Spurlock, who shot 3-of-6 from deep and totaled 12 points.

The Seminoles, who were picked to finish third in the preseason ACC poll, advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last year. Florida State entered the top-25 nationally earlier Monday.

The hosts led 29-21 at the break after the Knights shot just 29 percent in the opening stanza. Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan each scored eight points in the first half, and the Knights took good care of the ball and did an adequate job defending big man Bernard James, who scored only four of his game-high 18 points in the first 20 minutes.

The Seminoles pulled way with a 15-5 run that began four minutes into the second half. Sharpshooter Michael Snaer hit a pair of triples during the spurt, and Terrance Shannon hurt the Knights inside with five points. The Knights got within 13 points with 11:22 to play when Spurlock hit a triple, but James answered with a traditional 3-point play to put the lead out of reach.

Clanton and Jordan each finished with 11 points.

The Seminoles shot 50.9 percent for the game. Thanks to its considerable size advantage - the 6-foot-9 Clanton spent much of the game guarding James, who is 6-foot-10, and 7-footer Jon Kreft - Florida State finished with a 46-31 shot advantage and scored 38 of its points in the paint.

"We knew that it was going to be a tough matchup for us," Clanton said. "We knew that we had to match their intensity and play hard. I don't think that we played to our potential."

UCF and Florida State could meet again next week. Both teams are scheduled to compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. The Knights open the eight-team, three-day tournament on Thanksgiving against College of Charleston.

The Knights were playing their second game in three days. On Saturday, UCF opened the campaign with a 74-61 victory over visiting Saint Thomas. UCF will continue its busy start to the season Friday when the squad hosts High Point at 7 p.m. at the UCF Arena.