Knights Topped in Tampa

Box Score (pdf)

TAMPA – The UCF men's basketball team trailed by nine points at halftime and never recovered as South Florida won 75-51 in an American Athletic Conference contest at the Yuengling Center Saturday night.

Following the loss, the Knights moved to 10-5 overall and 2-3 in American Athletic Conference play. The Bulls, meanwhile, jumped to 6-10 and picked up their first conference win of the season, moving them to 1-3 in league play.

"I thought South Florida played really good basketball," said head coach Johnny Dawkins. "I thought they shared and moved the ball well, and they were tremendous on the boards, but we have to be better... I think the rivalry and excitement of it kind of got our guys out of character and [South Florida] fed off it."

Not a lot was working for the Knights in the loss, but the three ball was particularly disappointing as UCF knocked down just two on 20 attempts. The Knights were also outrebounded, 53-26, and had just nine assists.

After being outscored 35-26 through the first 20 minutes, the first half woes continued when play resumed as the Bulls went on a 9-2 run to extend their lead to 44-28, and were up as much as 25 (64-39) before finishing with the win.

Javon Greene led the Bulls with 19 points on five 3-pointers in the win, while C.J. Walker led the Knights with nine points in the defeat.

UCF will have its chance at revenge in just a few weeks as the Bulls make the return trip to Orlando on Feb. 3. The Knights have never lost to the Bulls in Orlando under coach Dawkins' leadership, with their last home loss coming in the 2013-14 season (79-78).

For now, the Knights will stay on the road as UCF travels to Greenville, North Carolina on Tuesday, Jan. 18 for the first of two games this season against ECU. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+.