UCF Comeback Comes Up Just Short at Louisiana-Lafayette


Dec. 21, 2011

Final Stats

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By Doug Richards

Box Score in PDF Format

LAFAYETTE, La. (UCFAthletics.com) - For the last three minutes of the game Wednesday evening at the Cajundome, the Knights played with intensity, focus and poise that allowed the team to get back into the contest against Louisiana-Lafayette. Unfortunately for the Knights, their strong play down the stretch and comeback were not enough as the Ragin' Cajuns held on for a 61-60 victory.

The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Knights, who moved to 8-3 with the loss.

UCF had the chance to tie the game, but junior guard Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) came up short on a 3-point attempt with six seconds left in the contest. After the Ragin' Cajuns (6-8) hit a pair of free throws, UCF sophomore Tristan Spurlock (Woodbridge, Va.) hit a long triple at the buzzer.

Louisiana-Lafayette led by 13 points with 5:51 to play and were up nine points with 4:08 to go. Spurlock had four points as UCF used a quick 7-0 run and a full-court press to get back into the game.

Jordan recorded 17 points for the Knights. Junior forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) added 13 points and nine boards.

"Give Louisiana-Lafayette credit. They mixed up it zone (defense) wise," UCF head coach Donnie Jones said. "We played hard the last seven minutes when we started pressing. That is the kind of intensity you have to play with the whole game when you are on the road. We were too nonchalant and too casual. We got ourselves in a hole again. We were able to fight back and had a good effort in doing that."

The hosts led by as many as seven points in the first half but Clanton (eight first-half points) kept the Knights close. After Jordan drained a long 3-pointer at the buzzer, the Ragin' Cajuns led 29-28 at the break.

UCF was playing in Lafayette for the first time since 1992. UCF and Louisiana-Lafayette competed together in the Sun Belt Conference in the early 1990s.

The contest at the Cajundome, which has room for over 11,000 fans, was played in front of 3,132 spectators.

"We've got to come out with that fire," Jones said. "It wasn't a great environment in here tonight, and teams can get caught up with that. You have to create your own energy. We didn't do that until the end of the game."

Louisiana-Lafayette shot 57.1 percent in the second half and made 46.0 percent of its attempts for the game. Kadeem Coleby shot 8-of-10 overall and led all players with 20 points in the win.

Spurlock added 13 points off the bench for the Knights, who shot 43.6 percent overall.

UCF will have a few days off for Christmas before the team reconvenes in Orlando for the UCF Holiday Classic. The Knights will open the two-day event on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. against Stetson. James Madison and Rhode Island are also competing in the tournament, which will conclude on Dec. 30.