Photos: Terrence Coakley
The UCF Knights (20-6) (10-4 AAC) defeat the SMU Mustangs (13-13) (5-9) 95-48. Knights center Tacko Fall had a game to remember. He had a season-high 23 points and a career-high 20 rebounds. It was his first career 20-point 20-rebound game, and he is the first Knight since 2001 to have such a game. The Knights were in command from the start. They scored the first 16 points of the game and did not look back.
UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins was very pleased with the defensive effort throughout the game. “I thought we came out you know especially with you know a defensive mindset that really I thought set the tone in this game.” The Knights held SMU to just 18 points in the first half, which is a season-low for them for a first half. SMU shot only 24% from the field for the whole game. The Knights also dominated the Mustangs on the glass. They outrebounded them 58-35.
The Knights could not be stopped on the offensive end. They shot nearly 50% from the field, and they drained 11 three-pointers. Also, SMU had no answer for Tacko Fall in the paint. All 23 of his points came in the paint or at the foul line. Fall felt really good about his 23-point 20-rebound game “I try to go out there and do it every night but you know different nights different things happen but today I was blessed to be able to do it, Fall says.”
This was a huge bounce back win after losing a nail bitter at Cincinnati. “Yeah we felt like we should have won that game i mean we had them on the ropes and they came back and closed it out, Fall says.” The Knights surpassed their win total from last year in both overall and conference play, and there are still 4 games to go until the end of the regular season. The Knights next game is the War on I4 in Tampa versus the South Florida Bulls on Wednesday, February 27th . The Mustangs are back at home to take on the Cincinnati Bearcats on Wednesday, February 27th.