Another overtime situation rallied fans at CFE Arena where UCF (12-14, 5-10) held Memphis (17-10, 9-5) to 56-56 by the end of regulation, before falling 75-65 in overtime.
The first five minutes of gameplay worked against the favor of the Knights, where Memphis worked up an 18-2 run.
A frustrated UCF bench lit a flame that burned Memphis’ lead to only 3 points by halftime, nearly tying the game before a shot by Adonys Henriquez bounced away from the rim. An active Knights lineup caused the Tigers to lose the offensive dominance built earlier in the half. UCF completed 40.7% of their field goals in the first half and 30.8% of their 3-pointers, versus Memphis’ 44.8% in the field and 16.7% from the arc.
The momentum UCF held stifled in the opening minutes of the second half after a twenty minute breather, although the gap in score would close soon after several quick plays made by the Knights.
Sophomore guard Brandon Goodwin drew in the last layup of regulation to tie up the game. A Memphis player allowed the ball to inch past half court to save on time but Goodwin dove for the steal and called a timeout with seconds left on the clock.
“It felt really good, hard work – Just hustle,” said Goodwin. “But that was momentum for us going into overtime. You know we can actually win this game if we just keep fighting.”
Overtime favored Memphis as the Tigers earned the first nine on the board as well as shooting 90% from the free throw line, keeping UCF at bay until the game’s end.
“It was a very good basketball game,” said UCF head coach Donnie Jones. “Our kids fought hard. Somehow we found a way to get into overtime and that says a lot about these kids and how they compete.”
UCF will compete in three more regular season games against Cincinnati, East Carolina and USF. Cincinnati’s game will be played on Tuesday at Fifth Third Arena. The Knight’s last home game will be played against East Carolina on Saturday at 12 p.m.