Knights Cruise in Exhibition Win

ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) –The UCF men’s basketball team held its first exhibition since the 2014-15 season, as all 12 Knights who played in the contest scored in the 86-69 victory over visiting Flagler Monday night at CFE Arena.

“I thought it was a really good test to get out in front of some fans and actually put the uniform on,” UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins said. “It was really good for this team.”

The Knights shot 56.9 percent from the floor, led by Tacko Fall’s 8-for-8 performance, and assisted on 20 of their 27 baskets to put up 86 points in the win. Fall finished the game with 17 points and four blocks in his first game minutes since midway through last season.

“We want to get Tacko the ball,” Dawkins said. “As you can see, he’s a much improved player. I can see him doing more things, he’s changing ends faster, he’s finishing around the basket at a high clip, he has post moves on the low block. All of those things make us better.”

Also back in action after missing half of last season was senior point guard BJ Taylor. The American’s Preseason Player of the Year scored 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting, dished out six assists and had two steals in the win.

For the first time since arriving on campus two years ago, Aubrey Dawkins hit the court in a UCF uniform. Dawkins scored a mostly quiet 11 points on two three-pointers, but two of his points were not very quiet. In the second half he took flight for a thunderous dunk, showing off his much talked about athleticism.

Ceasar DeJesus rounded out the Knights in double figures, finishing with 12 points on an efficient 6-of-7 from the field. The West New York, N.J. native also had four assists and two steals in the win.

The Knights took advantage of 20 Flagler turnovers, outscoring the Saints 26-8 off of miscues and only giving it away 10 times in 40 minutes.

“We’ve committed to defending and that’s been our identity since we’ve been here,” Dawkins said. “I thought our guys got back to UCF defense. They had active hands, and we turned defense into offense, which is how we want to play.”

Led by Fall, UCF also won the battle in the paint, 58-32. Something Knight fans didn’t see much of last season, the Black and Gold scored 23 fast break points, outscoring Flagler in the category, 23-9.

UCF led by as many as 21 points late in the first half and used a 12-point run midway through the first frame to build the lead.

UCF officially begins the 2018-19 season Nov. 6 against Rider. The Knights and the Broncs are set to tip off at 6:30 p.m. at CFE Arena.

Fans excited for the upcoming 2018-19 UCF men's basketball season can purchase tickets today by calling (407) 823-1000 or online here: https://ucfknights.co/mbb1819tix.