UCF Knights junior center Tacko Fall turns over his shoulder for the and-1 basket versus Stetson at the Edmunds Center on Tuesday night. Photo by Christopher Davis.

UCF men’s basketball cruises past Stetson for fourth consecutive victory

by

The UCF Knights dominated the interior on their way to a 74-55 road victory against the Stetson Hatters on Tuesday night.

It was the Knights’ 18th consecutive victory all-time versus the Hatters and UCF’s fourth straight non-conference victory overall.

The Knights played the Hatters in front of an announced crowd of 1,918 at the Edmunds Center at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.

UCF controlled all aspects of the paint, grabbing a 46-28 rebounding advantage over Stetson, scoring 46 of their 74 points in the painted area.

The Knights hopped out to a 13-0 run to begin the second half, leading to a 20-point lead.

UCF smothered Stetson’s offense in the second half, holding them to 21 percent shooting from the field and 11 percent from the perimeter.

“We’re starting to build a killer instinct,” UCF junior forward Chad Brown said. “We’re starting to come out, and if we get a team to eight, we’re trying to get it to 16 and then 24.”

The Knights’ 7-foot-6 junior center Tacko Fall epitomized the team’s  offensive and defensive efficiency against the Hatters. During his 16 minutes of gameplay, Fall registered 18 points, 11 rebounds and one block on 8-for-9 shooting.

“Coming in I knew we had to take advantage of their size,” Fall said. “We knew coming into the second half we had to pick up the intensity because that’s who we are; we’re a defensive team.”

UCF redshirt sophomore guard Terrell Allen nearly out-assisted Stetson on his own, matching the team with nine assists. UCF redshirt senior A.J. Davis added 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists, and both Davis and Allen logged a team-high of 31 minutes.

UCF’s first half offense was highly efficient, shooting 62 percent from the field and 5-for-8 from beyond the arch with eight different players scoring.

However, UCF couldn’t use this scoring fuel to pull away.

The Knights led by as many as eight points on three separate occasions, but they couldn’t build on their early leads, which was mainly due to a seven to two turnover margin that led to nine points for the Hatters.

“We’re in the process of becoming,” UCF Knights Head Coach Johnny Dawkins said. “We’re still developing our chemistry. Guys are still learning how to build on a lead, and I think today in the second half we were able to stretch it out because guys got stops [and] guys executed offensively.”

The Knights will head back home to face the South Carolina State Bulldogs for their final non-conference game on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the CFE Arena on UCF’s main campus.