UCF Drops 77-61 Decision To Belmont

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the second time in as many games UCF (16-4, 11-2) faced a hot-shooting team and found itself on the short end losing back-to-back games for the first time all season as Belmont (14-5, 10-3) handed the Golden Knights a 77-61 loss at the Curb Event Center Thursday evening.

UCF/Belmont Box Score

Belmont, which shot 71 percent in the second half, broke open a one-point halftime lead starting the second half on a 17-8 run. The offensive spurt gave the Bruins their first double-digit lead, 43-33, with just over 14 minutes remaining. The Bruins used four triples including back-to-back treys by Jese Snyder. Adrian Jones also had nine points during the run. Marcus Avant canned a three to bring UCF to within four at 34-30, but the Bruins closed out the 11-6 end of the second-half run.

The Knights continued to keep the lead under double digits and following a Dexter Lyons three with just over eight minutes left had narrowed the gap to 51-47.

Belmont would again swing the momentum in its favor, outscoring the Knights 12-5 over the next four minutes taking a double-digit lead at 63-52. UCF would not get closer than 10 points for the remainder of the contest. Steve Drabyn put the Bruins up 57-49 during the run after converting a four-point play.

UCF was forced to foul in an effort to preserve the clock in the final minutes. The Bruins closed out the game hitting 11-of-12 shots at the charity stripe, including eight consecutive by Drabyn.

UCF opened the scoring while the teams exchanged baskets in the early going. Jones scored the Bruins first five points staking Belmont to an early 5-4 lead. Kingsley Edwards gave the Knights the lead, 6-5, following a drive to the basket and a finger roll with just over 14 minutes remaining in the first half. Edwards and Troy Lindbeck gave UCF its largest lead at 12-8 after the duo hit back-to-back three's.

UCF was finally able to gain some separation following a 7-0 run, highlighted by Edwards' second triple of the half to give the Knights a 21-13 lead. Belmont answered back with a 5-0 run of its own, which included a triple from Josh Goodwin, cutting the Bruins deficit to 21-18.

With UCF up 21-18, the Bruins were held scoreless for nearly four minutes, but the Knights were unable to gain a large advantage as they could only push the lead to 25-20. Belmont outscored UCF 9-4 in the final 10 minutes of the first half and grabbed a 26-25 halftime advantage following a traditional three-point play by Adam Mark with under a minute remaining.

The Knights scored just four points in the final seven minutes of the first half. Josh Bodden had the only field goal during the drought, while Lyons made two shots at the charity stripe. Both team's shot 45.5 percent from the floor in the first half connecting on 10-of-22 shots. Belmont scored nine of its first half points following 10 UCF turnovers.

Lyons led two UCF players in double digits with 16 points, while Edwards finished with 10. The duo also led the team on the boards grabbing five apiece. The Knights shot 41.5 percent from the field (22-53) and hit eight triples in 27 attempts (29.6 percent). UCF went to the line 14 times connecting on nine.

Belmont had four players finish in double figures led by 20 points from Drabyn. Jones and Mark netted 16 and 14 points respectively. Snyder finished with 11. The Bruins shot 58 percent (25-43) for the game and hit 10 triples on 23 attempts. The Bruins sank 17 shots in 24 attempts at the free throw line. Brian Collins led the Bruins on the glass pulling down seven boards.
The Golden Knights will remain in Nashville, Tenn. for a match-up with Lipscomb on Saturday Feb. 7. It was the Knights taking the first meeting against the Bison, 68-58. Tip off for the game is slated for 4:30 p.m.(ET).

As always all the Knights action can be heard on AM-740 The Team with Marc Daniels calling all the action. Pregame coverage will begin 30 minutes prior to tip off.

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