The No. 6 UCF Knights used a late run to pull away from the No. 11 ECU Pirates in their 66-52 win in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Championship.
UCF’s defense stifled ECU for most of the night, but the Pirates were able to cut the Knights lead to 46-45 with 9:36 remaining after a 13-0 run. ECU head coach Michael Perry said he thought his team executed better during that period.
“I thought we were able to get the ball moving and ball reversal,” Perry said. “The ball didn’t stick and we didn’t over-dribble during that period of time.”
The Knights would respond with a 20-7 run to end the game. That run was due to UCF’s calling card; it’s defense.
“Well we needed to get back to the basics,” UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins said. “Usually we fuel what we do defensively and actually [UCF senior forward A.J. Davis] said in the huddle at that timeout and it was great because he was echoing the things that we know we talk about.”
Junior guard B.J. Taylor led the Knights with 17 points while Davis added 14. The Pirates were led by freshman guard Shawn Williams’ 17 points with senior guard B.J. Tyson chipping in 14.
UCF moves on to play No. 3 Houston on Friday night. The loss ends ECU’s season.