Knights Fall to Harvard, Finish Second at Battle 4 Atlantis


Nov. 26, 2011

Final Stats

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By Doug Richards

Box Score Attached in PDF Form

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (UCFAthletics.com) - One day after recording one of the biggest wins in program history, UCF could not accomplish its goal for the week in the Bahamas - claiming the Battle 4 Atlantis championship. Harvard controlled the tempo on both ends of the floor Saturday and the Crimson were able to claim the tournament title with a 59-49 championship game victory over the Knights.

UCF (4-2) finished second at the eight-team, three-day tournament. The Knights advanced to the title game by rallying for a 68-63 win over No. 4 UConn Friday. UCF snapped the defending national champions' 16-game winning streak. The win was the third in UCF history over a nationally-ranked opponent.

Harvard, who improved to 6-0, is receiving votes in both national polls. The Crimson never trailed Saturday at Imperial Arena and limited the Knights to a 33.3 percent shooting performance for the game.

Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives from the trip to the Bahamas for the Knights. In addition to the comeback win over UConn (UCF trailed by 17 points with 16 minutes to play), the Knights also defeated a College of Charleston team that was unbeaten and coming off of a win at Clemson.

"We played three different teams, and played three different styles," UCF head coach Donnie Jones said of his squad's run at the Battle 4 Atlantis. "If you want to be a good team, you have to be ready to face every style of play. Give Harvard credit. They are a very good team, and they are going to win a lot of games. They are a very good basketball team."

The Crimson led 33-18 at the break after shooting 54.5 percent overall. Harvard opened the game by outscoring the Knights, 8-1, and then closed the half on an 8-1 run. UCF got within five points four times after the opening run by the Crimson, but got no closer in the first half.

Harvard built its lead to as many as 19 points after intermission, and the Knights cut the deficit to 44-34 with 8:46 to go when Marcus Jordan had a traditional 3-point play, but Harvard answered with four-straight points to put the game out of reach.

The Crimson's Keith Wright was named the tournament MVP. He finished with 12 points and seven boards Saturday. Harvard advanced to the championship game with a 46-41 triumph over No. 20 Florida State.

Keith Clanton totaled 12 points and eight rebounds for the Knights, and Jordan added 10 points. UCF was limited to 1-of-11 (9.1 percent) shooting from 3-point range, and made only 8-of-23 (34.8 percent) of its free-throw attempts.

Jordan feels that UCF's trip to the Bahamas will be beneficial as it continues its non-league schedule, and then opens Conference USA play in January.

"Playing against the three different styles will definitely help us in the long run. We'll learn from each of the games and just try to get better every day."

UCF will return to Orlando Sunday afternoon. The Knights will return to action next Saturday when they host Hartford at the UCF Arena at 5 p.m.