Knights Can't Keep Up With Tigers in Memphis

Box Score (pdf)

MEMPHIS - The UCF men's basketball team struggled to keep pace with the Tigers Saturday night as the Knights ultimately fell 88-60 to the Tigers at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee.

UCF allowed Memphis (12-8, 6-4 AAC) to shoot 56 percent from the fieldand the Knights went just 7-of-33 from 3-point range, as the Tigers evened the season series. Following the loss, UCF moves to 13-8 overall and 5-6 in American Athletic Conference play.

"I thought it was a very competitive game for 30 minutes," said head coach Johnny Dawkins. "There were 10 minutes in the second half that we didn't play very good basketball.

"I thought we had some very good opportunities and we cut the lead coming out of halftime…I think our offense hurt our defense tonight. We had open looks and free throws that we didn't cash in on."

The Knights' shots were not falling in the first half. Heading into the locker room at halftime, UCF was staring at a 25.7 field goal percentage (9-of-35), and things looked even bleaker from beyond the arc as the Knights had hit just 2-of-17 (11.8 percent). Memphis, meanwhile, was shooting over 55 percent (16-for-29).

Out of the half, the Knights went on a 8-0 run to cut their deficit to one (36-35), but the Tigers were able to pull right back away, going up 56-46 before UCF called time with 10:21 to go.

The stoppage would not slow Memphis down as the Tigers would go on to close the game out with the 88-60 win.

Darin Green Jr. and Cheikh Mbacke Diong led UCF with 11 point each, while freshman Josh Minott led all scorers and four Tigers in double figures with 16 points.

Following the loss, UCF moves to just 1-19 all-time against the Tigers in Memphis.

Up next, UCF returns to Addition Financial Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 8 to host Wichita State at 9 p.m. EST on ESPNU. The Knights fell to the Shockers, 84-79, in their first meeting this season at their place on Jan. 26.