UCF Wins Ninth Straight

<SPAN class=bodytext><B>JACKSONVILLE</B> – <B>Roberto Morentin</B> scored in double figures for the ninth time this season finishing with 18 points, as UCF (11-2, 6-0) won its ninth consecutive game with a 63-51 win over Jacksonville (6-6, 1-4) at Swisher Gymnasium Sunday afternoon. It is the Golden Knights longest winning streak since the 1998-99 season.<BR></SPAN>

Box Score

UCF, behind four points from Morentin, grabbed an early 10-4 lead in the opening minutes while JU's only points came at the free throw line. The Golden Knights held the Dolphins without a make from the field until Nolan McBride hit the first of consecutive baskets with 13:23 left in the opening half. William Bakanowsky hit a triple to extend the lead to 13-8 with just over eight minutes played.

After Jarred Stockton's jumper drew JU to within one at 19-18, UCF put together a 10-0 run highlighted by back-to-back triples from Marcus Avant and Troy Lindbeck. The Knights gained their first double-digit lead during the spurt after Morentin hit the first of two free throws pushing the lead to 29-18.

The Dolphins, who hit 11-of-15 shots at the line in the first half, would not make a shot from the field for the final eight minutes of the opening stanza, closing out the half with just five free throws.

UCF's largest lead came after Avant drained his second triple of the half to put UCF up 32-20. The Knights entered the break with a 34-23 lead after Rob Ross' put back as time expired.

JU opened the second half outscoring the Knights 9-5 to narrow the gap to 39-34, but after Dexter Lyons hit his first triple of the game UCF had pushed its lead to 44-34. The Knights would hold the lead in double figures for the next seven-and-a-half minutes. The Dolphins would not fold however and took advantage of a nearly six-minute scoring drought by the Knights whittling the UCF lead to 54-49 with 2:46 remaining in the game.

Ross ended the Knights scoring woes coming off the bench to can a triple and give UCF back the momentum and push the lead back to eight at 57-49. A series of fouls and shots at the line closed out the game and the scoring.

Avant was the only other UCF player to reach double figures in scoring finishing with 12. Both Morentin and Kingsley Edwards grabbed a team high six boards. The Knights shot 41 percent from the field and hit six of 24 attempts from behind the arc. Led by Morentin's 6-for-7 effort, UCF ended the game 9-of-13 at the charity stripe.

JU had three players in double figures led by Jure Lozancic's 13. Haminn Quaintance and David Lee finished with 12 and 10 points respectively. The duo also led the Dolphins on the glass with six boards apiece. The team's finished tied on the glass with 35 rebounds each.

UCF will conclude its three-game road trip traveling to Boca Raton on Wednesday, Jan. 14 to take on Florida Atlantic. Tip off is slated for 6 p.m. and can be heard on the UCF ISP Sports Network and its flagship station AM 740-The Team with Marc Daniels calling all the action. Pregame coverage will begin at 5:30 p.m.
Sunshine Network will also televise the game live with Dave Lamont handling the play-by-play and Matt Guokas providing the color commentary. It is the Golden Knights second consecutive televised game of the season.


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