Courtesy UCF Athletics Communications

UCF cruises to victory over Stetson

by

For the second straight game the Knights asserted their dominance on both ends of the floor, coasting past the Hatters in a 81-45 win at home in which they never trailed.

The Knights (5-1) held the Hatters (3-5) to 22 percent shooting from the floor while they dominated Stetson in points in the paint, 34-2 in favor of UCF.

“That’s who we are, that’s our game,” UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins said. “We have Tacko [Fall] who’s one of the biggest players in our game and he’s a heck of a post presence … when you have that type of presence you want to go inside.”

Right out of halftime, redshirt sophomore point guard B.J. Taylor microwaved the Knights offense as he scored eight of their first nine points. The teams floor general scored 18 points, grabbed five rebounds and had four assists on the night.

“I just wanted to be a little more aggressive in that second half; get us off to a good start,” Taylor said.

UCF led the entire night, but Stetson made a late run in the second half. Just when Dawkins was about to sub in a couple of his starters, sophomore forward Chad Brown ripped a couple of rebounds out the air, rejected a layup and capped it off with a two-handed tomahawk slam, leading to a Stetson timeout.

“I love Chad because Chad is our most energized and enthusiastic player,” Dawkins said. “It’s really good when you see a young man that brings that and has that type of spirit—you love to see him have success and tonight’s one of those nights he’ll be able to build on.”

Brown had his most impressive game as a collegiate player, scoring a career-high 12 points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots in 17 minutes of action.

The Knights hoped out to a quick 10-2 lead just four minutes into the game.  They overwhelmed Stetson on defense, holding them to just 18 percent shooting from the filled and 2-for-14 from the three-point line.

But arguably the best thing UCF did in the first half was adding the 6-foot-9 athletic forward, redshirt junior A.J. Davis back to the lineup. The forward returned off the bench after a five game hiatus due to a hand injury that he sustained before the start of the season and he demonstrated no lingering effects.

On the defensive end, Davis was an enigma to the Hatters’ offense. Late in the first half on defense, Davis leaped up, flying over Tacko Fall, rejecting a shot, generating a one-man fast-break resulting in a finger-roll layup.

Davis score six points, eight rebounds, one block and a steal in just 12 minutes of action in the first half.

“I was trying to do what I could to help the team and it just felt good to be back out there with my brothers—we’re all family,” Davis said. “We’re just trying to win that’s all I care about.”

The Knights will hit the road for their next game, facing UMass (4-1) at the William D. Mullins Center on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m.