PHOTOS BY KURT RIVERS
Check out video highlights of UCF’s win over Furman:
The UCF basketball team is banged up, but that didn’t stop them from extending their undefeated streak on Wednesday night.
Marcus Jordan was out of the starting lineup for his second consecutive game nursing an ankle injury, but No. 19 UCF scored 38 points in the paint and got 21 points from Keith Clanton to defeat Furman 71-53 in the first round of the UCF Holiday Classic presented by EA Sports and improve to 12-0 on the season.
Jordan scored 15 points off the bench and looked effective despite not being fully healthy from the ankle injury he suffered against Miami two weeks ago.
UCF outscored Furman 44-13 off the bench and shot 49.1 percent from the field in the game, but it was the Knights defense that sealed the victory. Furman pulled to within 11 points to open the second half off a Colin Reddick free throw, but a 6-0 run capped by an Isaac Sosa free throw gave the Knights a45-28 lead with 15:49 remaining. UCF held the Paladins to just 29 percent shooting from the field in the second half.
The story of the first half was Keith Clanton, who scored 14 of his game-high 21 in the first 20 minutes. The sophomore shot 6-of-10 from the field and grabbed six boards in the first period.
Clanton’s jumper gave the Knights the first score of the game at 2-0 and UCF eventually opened the lead to 8-2 off a Marcus Jordan 3-point basket with 16:03 left in the first half. A Tom Herzog dunk with 12:46 left put the Knights up 16-8, but Furman reeled off a 4-0 run to pull to within four points
Herzog was big off the bench, scoring 10 points and blocking two shots, and his basket with 2:39 left helped the Knights take a 39-27 lead into the break.
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