Knights Win Third Straight on Tacko Tuesday
The UCF Men’s Basketball team used an 8-0 run late in the second half to seal its third straight win, defeating visiting Southeastern Louisiana University 61-53 Tuesday night at CFE Arena. Thanks to Craig Mackay Photography for hanging out with my4oh7.com and helping to keep Orlando, Florida #LockedIN.
Trailing 49-44 midway through the second half, the Knights (7-3) did what they do best. They locked in on defense and made stops.
UCF held Southeastern Louisiana scoreless for the next seven minutes and 26 seconds, using an 8-0 run to regain the lead at 52-49. The Knights didn’t give up that lead the rest of the way.
It can’t only be done on defense though. UCF needed to make buckets down the stretch. Senior A.J. Davis stepped up yet again, knocking down a pair of big buckets during the run to help the Knights pull away.
“I thought A.J. was terrific down the stretch,” Dawkins said. “He made big plays for us offensively and defensively. You like to see your seniors do that. I was really proud of his effort tonight.”
As the Lions (5-4) continued to battle back in the final minutes, it was redshirt sophomore Terrell Allen taking control. The point guard scored eight of the Knights’ final nine points of the game to secure the victory.
Dawkins was impressed by how his team has been trending in the right direction offensively. Not necessarily in shooting percentages, but in valuing possessions.
The Knights turned the ball over just 13 times in the win over Southern on Saturday. On Tuesday, UCF was even better, giving it away just 11 times, matching a season best.
“The numbers I look at are the turnovers,” Dawkins said of his team’s offense. “With 11, [in the] last game we had 13, I think our season high has been 27, so we’re definitely trending in the right direction offensively because we’re valuing the possessions. We’re valuing the ball more [and those] things are necessary to give yourself a chance to win.”
Sometimes it’s also necessary to get a double-double out of your start center, and Tacko Fall was dominant early and often for the Knights on Tacko Tuesday.
The big man recorded his first double-double of the season and the 16th of his careering, finishing with season highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Fall also added a season-best five blocked shots in the win.
“I thought Tacko really established a low post presence for us tonight,” Dawkins said. “He got us off to a really good start. We went to him early and often and he delivered.”
Davis finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, Allen added 12 points, and Ceasar DeJesus chipped in with nine points and a team high three assists.
The Knights will now have a week off before playing their final two non-conference games. UCF plays at Stetson Dec. 19 and then hosts South Carolina State on Dec. 21 before beginning American Athletic Conference play at SMU on Dec. 27.
Season tickets for the 2017-18 campaign are on sale now. Fans looking to purchase tickets can call (407) 823-1000 or visit UCFKnights.com to secure them today. For men’s basketball tickets CLICK HERE.
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