Bodden Leads UCF To Fifth Consecutive Win

ORLANDO – Josh Bodden scored a career high 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds en route to recording his third career double-double as UCF (7-2) defeated Tenn-Martin (4-7) 80-68 in its final non-conference game of the season at UCF Arena Tuesday evening.

Bodden who scored 11 points in the first half, notched five of UCF's first nine points as the Golden Knights opened the game on a 9-2 run. The Knights had the inside game going early as Roberto Morentin fed Bodden under the hoop on consecutive possessions to cap off the early scoring spurt.

The Skyhawks battled back and went on their own 9-2 run and following a jumper by Tyler George the game was knotted at 11 apiece. Following a UCF turnover, George scored his second consecutive basket to give the Skyhawks their first lead of the game at 13-11.

With the game tied at 15, Dexter Lyons canned a three and then was the recipient of a Kingsley Edwards pass on a fast break, set up by a Bodden rejection, laying the ball in for a 20-15 UCF advantage. Tenn-Martin quickly answered back after Kenan Asceric drained a triple to again cut the lead to two at 20-18.

UCF held a 27-20 edge with just over 10 minutes remaining in the opening stanza and after a Justin Smith triple cut the lead to 27-23 the Knights came alive finishing the half on a 15-4 run and held the Skyhawks to just four points to head into the intermission with a 42-27 lead.
The Golden Knights controlled the second half and grabbed a 21-point lead following a Marcus Avant dunk in the opening minutes of the second stanza. Following Avant's points, UCF would put the lead over 20 in the second stanza on 10 occasions. The largest lead came after a Lyons free throw put UCF up 78-56 with just over five minutes to play. A Lyons lay-up with 3:29 on the clock would be the final points for UCF as Tenn-Martin scored the last 10 points for the final outcome.

The trio of Bodden, Lyons and Morentin combined for 59 points as Lyons and Morentin finished with 19 and 16 respectively. Morentin snagged eight boards to finish two behind Bodden, who also tied a career high with four blocks. Gary Johnson finished with seven assists to lead both teams. UCF shot 53 percent from the field (30-57) and knocked down 5 of 14 (35.7 percent) shots from long range. The Knights had 15 makes in 18 attempts from the charity stripe and held the advantage on the glass outrebounding Tenn-Martin 39-28.

Cleve Woodfork led the Skyhawks with 17 points, while Justin Smith and Tyler George contributed 16 and 12 respectively. Woodfork also led the team on the glass pulling down eight rebounds. The Skyhawks shot 41 percent from the floor and hit four triples in 18 attempts (22 percent). The Skyhawks also went 16-of-22 at the line.

UCF will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 3 at UCF Arena as the Panthers of Georgia State travel to Orlando. Tip off is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on AM-740 with Marc Daniels calling all the action.

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