Orlando, Fla. – The UCF Knights were dominant on Saturday night with a 30-point victory over the UIC Flames to give the team their third win of the season.
“I’m just really proud of the team tonight. I thought we defended well and I thought we came out and executed offensively,” Head Coach Donnie Jones said. “We took care of the basketball. We got the lead and we were able to build on the lead.”
Justin McBride had the hot hand early on for the Knights on Saturday night with 12 points and 6 rebounds in the first half alone. The sophomore center came in after an early foul for starting center Tacko Fall and ended up playing a season-high 15 minutes. However, it was senior guard Daiquan Walker who ended up leading the Knights in scoring after posting 17 of his 21 points in the second half.
Team basketball has been a forte for the Knights this season as it seems that any given night anyone can lead the team in scoring. Shooting 45.5 percent tonight against UIC, the Knights had four double-digit scorers and seven players that scored more than 5 points.
“That’s one of the strong points of our team, just the ability to have so many people to go to this year,” McBride said. “We have like 10 guys that could start anywhere in the country, you know what I’m saying? So it’s a beautiful thing.”
Chance McSpadden has also been making the most of his playing time in BJ Taylor’s absence as he scored 10 points to go with 5 steals in his second start of the season. McSpadden has been a revelation early on this season for the Knights and will add to an already-deep bench upon Taylor’s return to the starting five. The freshman guard sports a 47.2 percent from the field on the season and has scored at least 9 in each of the last three contests.
Most importantly, the Knights were able to limit their turnovers to just against the Flames which cost them three of their first four matchups this season. UCF had fewer turnovers than their opponent for the first time this season, forcing the Flames to give up the ball 16 times throughout the game.
The UIC Flames were also in foul trouble for the majority of the game, recording 28 personal fouls while sending the Knights to the free throw line 37 times.
“I felt like it was a good defensive game. It was real fun pressuring the team, getting out, getting steals and getting easy buckets. So I think that was a big part of the win,” McSpadden said.
UCF’s next contest will be at home against the 5-2 UMass Minutemen from the Atlantic 10 conference on Tuesday night. The game will mark the second time UCF has faced an A-10 opponent after squaring off against the Davidson Wildcats in the season opener.