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Quick Report: UCF 71, Temple 69

02/22/2017, 9:00pm EST
By Zach Drapkin

Zach Drapkin (@ZachDrapkin)

Temple came close to getting back over .500 at the Liacouras Center on Wednesday night against UCF, but the Knights snuck away late with a 71-69 win to drop the Owls to 14-15 on the year.

At First…

Struggling early on to contain 7-6 big man Tacko Fall, Temple found itself down 19-14 with 8:12 remaining in the first half. That deficit was soon erased, with the Owls scoring nine unanswered to spark a 14-1 run which gave Temple a 28-20 lead at the 2:50 mark. At halftime, the home side led 33-24, however, that edge soon vanished; UCF’s Matt Williams scored eight straight points to lead an 11-0 spurt, tying the game at 39 with 15:20 to go. The Owls went on a 7-0 run at the 12-minute mark, but the lead was cut back down to a single possession within 90 seconds.

Turning Point…

The Knights snatched up the lead with 2:28 to play on a basket by Nick Banyard, going up 65-63. Shizz Alston responded with a three-pointer to put Temple back up, and after BJ Taylor hit a three of his own for UCF, Obi Enechionyia knocked down a corner triple to take a 69-68 lead. Taylor responded with a jumper to give the Knights another one-point edge, 70-69, with 55 seconds remaining. Enechionyia failed to convert on Temple’s next possession, forcing the Owls to foul. Fall missed the free throw and despite an offensive rebound, the Owls managed to force a turnover and regain possession with under 20 seconds to go, down a single point. Mark Williams missed a three, sending UCF back to the line with 3.6 ticks left on the clock, and this time, Taylor split the pair. Enechionyia’s final half-court heave fell short to give UCF the slim, two-point victory.

Standout Stars…

Five Knights scored in double figures; Taylor led UCF with 19 points, all but three of which came in the second half. Fall recorded 14 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks, and Banyard also finished with a double-double, racking up 11 points and 10 rebounds. Matt Williams scored 13 and AJ Davis added 10 points and nine rebounds.

For the Owls, Enechionyia had a team-high 17 points, all of which came in the second half. Alston scored 15, Quentin Rose and Mark Williams each had 11, and Daniel Dingle finished with 11.

Noteworthy Numbers…

0: Temple’s Obi Enechionyia did finish with 17 points on the game, but not a single point of his came during the first half. Enechionyia shot 0-3 from the field over the opening 20 minutes.

14: UCF’s clear advantage was in the paint, where the Senegalese Fall stood tall. The Knights outrebounded Temple by 14, 41-27, and recorded 14 offensive rebounds on the evening.

Up Next…

Temple (14-15, 5-11 American) vs Tulane (5-22, 2-13 American) -- Sat., Feb. 25, 12 PM

UCF (18-10, 9-7 American) vs Cincinnati (24-3, 13-1 American) -- Sun., Feb. 26, 3 PM

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