Men's Hoops Fall to Shockers in Wichita

Box Score (PDF)

WICHITA, Kan. – The UCF men's basketball team (12-6, 4-4 AAC) couldn't overcome a big first half deficit in Wichita, falling 84-79 to the Shockers (10-7, 1-4 AAC) on the road Wednesday night.

Over the past few games, UCF has made a habit of falling behind early on to turn it on and complete the comeback—see their last two games against ECU and Tulane as an example of that.

It looked like Wednesday night's game against the Shockers would be more of the same as the Knights worked their back from a 16-point deficit (23-7) to make it a three-point game (47-44), but
Wichita was able to hold the line as, despite getting close, UCF was not able to tie the game or take the lead.

Another UCF surge late would make it a five-point game (84-79), but it was too little too late as time had expired on the Knights' comeback attempt.

"You give [Wichita State] credit," said head coach Johnny Dawkins. "Defensively, they played a good game plan and they took us out from some things we wanted to do early on.

"But we have to be poised when that happens and understand just because option A doesn't work, go to option B… you have to go through your progressions when things aren't going good for the first thing you're looking to do."

The Knights held American Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year Tyson Etienne to just five points, but the Shockers found other ways to get it done as Ricky Council IV led the way with a game-high 31 points to go along with three assists and three rebounds. Morris Udeze also chimed in with 16.

The Knights, who were held to 40.6 percent shooting, were led by Brandon Mahan, who posted his first double-double of the season after tallying 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
The Knights are 0-8 all-time against the Shockers and 0-4 in Wichita.

UCF returns to Addition Financial Arena this weekend as the Knights welcome No. 7 Houston to town for a game on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 8:00 p.m. The Knights are hosting a block party ahead of the game. Fans can come out and join in on the fun earlier that Saturday from 5–7:30 p.m. at East Plaza Drive. More information on the block party can be found by clicking here.