Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Tristan Spurlock tallied a game-high 15 points
to lift the UCF Knights to a 62-45 victory over the Howard Bison in the
opening game of the UCF Holiday Classic in Orlando.
Isaiah Sykes added 12 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for UCF (8-3),
which will advance to take on the winner of the tourney's other first round
matchup between Belmont and Boston University. Matt Williams provided a spark
off the bench for the Knights by scoring 11 points in 14 minutes and Keith
Clanton was one field goal shy of a double-double with eight points and 11
Howard (3-11) lost its third game in a row as none of its players scored in
double-figures. Anton Dickerson netted a team-high nine points and Mike
Phillips grabbed six rebounds in the setback.
UCF began to create some distance on the scoreboard just over eight minutes
after tip-off when Williams drained a shot from beyond the arc to push the
hosts lead to 15-8. The Knights then took a 28-20 advantage into the
intermission despite hitting only 36.7 percent of their field goal attempts in
the first half. The Bison shot 43.5 percent from the floor in the opening 20
minutes, but trailed after going 0-of-5 from 3-point range and 0-4 from the
The Knights heated up to knock down 46.4 percent of their attempts from the
field and outscored Howard, 18-8, in the paint after the break to coast to the
UCF held a 37-30 edge in the rebounding battle and converted the Bisons' 16
turnovers into 11 points to earn a spot in the championship game.
The Sports Network