UCF basketball recap: Points off turnovers help the Knights win in El Paso 67-64
CUSA Fans UCF Correspondent David Gomez brings the latest update on the UCF Golden Knights basketball team.
EL PASO, TX- Mike O’Donnell knocked down a three-pointer with 2:19 left in the game, which broke a 62-62 tie and propelled UCF to a 67-64 victory on Saturday at the Don Haskins Center. With the win, the Golden Knights improved to 15-5 overall and 4-2 in CUSA while eclipsing their win total from a season ago.
UTEP (12-9, 4-3) had a chance to send the game into overtime with four seconds left, but Kevin Henderson’s 3-pointer rimmed out and UCF sophomore guard Kendrick Zondervan tipped the ball to Dave Noel who grabbed the rebound.
This was the Miners’ first home loss in Conference USA play since they joined the league last season.
The game was tied 29-29 at the break following a turnover fest in the first half that saw the teams combine to commit 23 turnovers.
The Knights started the second half strong and pulled ahead by seven with 10:37 to go; however, the Miners used an 11-3 run to get back in the game and the Knights continued their trend or relinquishing second half leads.
The difference in the game was that the Knights turned the many miscues they forced into points, outscoring the Miners 24-5 in points off turnovers.
Taylor came off the bench and led the Knights with 15 points, and both O’Donnell and Peppers finished with 13 points.
The Knights only shot 33.3 percent from the field and 43.5 from deep, but they did record a season-high 12 steals.
UTEP came into the game averaging 78.5 points per game but UCF was able to contain their high-scoring attack by creating 20 turnovers. The Miners shot 45.8 percent from the field. Henderson led the Miners with 19 points and 15 rebounds and Stefon Jackson also added 16.
After splitting their two-game road trip to Texas, the Knights will return home on Wednesday to what will most likely be the biggest crowd and biggest game in UCF Arena history as they will play host to the conference-leading Memphis Tigers. After tangling with the Tigers, UCF will welcome a much-improved Tulsa team to town on Saturday.