UCF Rolls Over Mercer, 83-58

ORLANDO – UCF (20-4, 15-2), behind 17 points from Dexter Lyons, won its fourth consecutive game and reached the 20-win plateau for the second consecutive season defeating Mercer (19-16, 7-10), 83-58, at University Center Thursday evening. The win enables to the Golden Knights to keep pace with Troy State atop the Atlantic Sun standings.

Box Score

UCF, which led 48-38 with just over 14 minutes remaining, outscored the Bears 17-3 over the next six minutes to grab a commanding 65-41 advantage. Lyons, who scored 12 points during the spurt, triggered the run after canning a triple and later added a traditional three-point play to put UCF up by 20. Kingsley Edwards, who was 3-of-3 from long range, also drilled a triple during the run. The offensive outburst was emphatically capped off with back-to-back alley-oops, the first coming from Lyons off an assist from Edwards and the second by Josh Peppers with an assist from Lyons. Prior to the run, the Bears had drawn to within six, 40-34, after scoring the first five points of the second half.

UCF opened the scoring, but then overcame an early 5-4 deficit following a three by Lyons with just over four minutes elapsed. With the game knotted at 7-7, the Golden Knights went on a 12-3 run to grab a 19-10 advantage.

Roberto Morentin scored eight points during the run, which included a traditional three-point play to give UCF an 11-7 advantage. Will Bakanowsky scored next draining a shot from behind the arc, while Peppers highlighted the run with an alley-oop from Lyons.

Mercer ended the run scoring its next five points from the free throw line to draw to within seven at 22-15 midway through the opening stanza. Marcus Avant scored the next two shots from the field for the Knights including a lay-in off an assist from Gary Johnson with less than six minutes to give UCF its first double-digit lead at 28-17.

The Knights grabbed their largest lead after Peppers drained his only three of the half to put UCF up 31-19. Led by Morentin's 12 points at the break, the Knights took a 40-29 lead into the half.

Lyons led three players in double figures as Morentin finished with 14 and Peppers notched a career high with 13. Avant led the Knights on the glass pulling down nine boards. UCF held a 39-32 advantage on the glass. The Knights shot 54 percent (33-61) from the floor and knocked down 10 triples on 22 attempts (45 percent). UCF made just eight trips to the charity stripe making seven.

Mercer had just one player reach double figures as James Odoms finished with 10 points. Will Emerson led the Bears with seven rebounds. Mercer, which shot 32 percent from the floor (20-62), made seven triples on 26 attempts (27 percent). The Bears finished 11-of-15 at the line.

The Golden Knights will head to Atlanta to play their final regular season road game when they take on Georgia State on Saturday, Feb. 21. Tip off for the game is slated for 2 p.m. UCF will close out the regular season at home hosting Gardner-Webb on Thursday, Feb. 26 and Campbell on Saturday, Feb. 28. Both games will tip off at 7:30 p.m. All the action can be heard on the UCF ISP Sports Network AM-740 The Team with Marc Daniels calling the action. Pregame coverage will begin 30 minutes prior to tip off.

 

Roberto Morentin Receives Academic Honor

ORLANDO – UCF men's basketball player Roberto Morentin has been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Men's Basketball District III Team.

Morentin, a Business Management major, garners the award for the first time and joins Marvin Lewis (Georgia Tech), Adam Hess (William & Mary), John Chappell (South Carolina) and Will Emerson (Mercer) on the five-player team.

Morentin is currently second in scoring for the Golden Knights averaging 14 points and leads the team grabbing 6.8 rebounds a game. The 6-9, senior has started 54 of 55 games so far in his UCF career and has also notched three career double-doubles. The native of Valladolid, Spain has also captured Atlantic Sun All-Academic Team honors during his time at UCF.

In order to be nominated for Academic All-District and All-America honors, a player must be a starter or important reserve, must have a 3.20 cumulative grade-point average and must have completed at least one full academic year at his institution.


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