Despite holding the lead for the majority of the game, the Knights faltered late and could not come away with a victory against the Miami (OH) RedHawks.
Turnovers were once again the key factor in the loss and have been a source of aggravation for this team early on in the season. The Knights turned the ball over 22 times and the RedHawks had no trouble capitalizing on those errors as the game wore on. Usually dominance on the glass evens the odds for UCF, but they only out-rebounded Miami (OH) by six and let a lot of easy boards get away from them.
Redshirt senior Eric Washington for the RedHawks was all over the Knights defensively with 6 steals and he tied the Miami (OH) team-lead in scoring with 15 points.
Early on it seemed as though UCF had it together as they spread the ball around with ease and managed a 36-28 halftime lead. The one good thing to takeaway from the loss was the team’s ability to spread the scoring around with eight players registering 6+ points. Freshman Tacko Fall was the team’s leading scorer with 10 points and was dominant in the paint defensively with 3 blocks.
Senior forward Shaheed Davis was a stand-out performer once again for the Knights as well with 9 points and a team-leading 8 rebounds.
However, with 3 minutes remaining in the game, the RedHawks jumped out to their first lead after a three-pointer from sophomore guard Abdoulaye Harouna. The Knights seemed to lose their composure once they had lost the lead as redshirt sophomore AJ Davis fouled out in frustration after having the ball stolen from him.
RedHawks senior guard Willie Moore had a coming-out game of sorts as he opened up the season shooting just 11.5 percent from the field. Moore shot 40 percent against the Knights and managed 13 points with 3 assists and 2 steals.
Nevertheless, this is a Knights team that is still missing their court general in sophomore guard BJ Taylor. It will be interesting to see what kind of dynamic the team will take on when he returns to the court in the next couple weeks from his bone bruise.
Finishing has been something that the Knights have excelled at early on this season, but just seemed to come up short after leading for most of the game against the RedHawks. Head Coach Donnie Jones will hope to right the ship against Stetson on Wednesday.