Knights Stampede the Mustangs, 70-45

The Knights made it a perfect three for three on their home stand as they crushed the SMU Mustangs, 70-45, in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated. UCF scored the game's first nine points and jumped out to a 17-2 lead and never trailed.

"Early in the game, we set a very good tone and didn't give anything easy," Knights coach Kirk Speraw said. "We fought hard on the glass, turned some of those tough rebounds into transition points, got the spread, and I'm very proud of our guys to not let up on that."

Jermaine Taylor scored 10 points in the first six minutes of the game, and had 16 at the half as the Knights were in control, 40-23. UCF shot 51.6% from the field in the first half including 6 of 15 from behind the three-point arc. A combination of good UCF defense and awful SMU shooting accounted for a field goal percentage of just 28.1 for the Mustangs as they made just 9 of 32 shots from the field, including an anemic 2 of 12 from long distance at the half.

"Before we get on that court, we're ready to play every game now," Jermaine Taylor said. "I think that had a lot to do with the way we started the game out tonight."

The second half began sloppily, as both teams missed early and often. UCF widened their lead to 25 points on an A.J. Tyler follow dunk and the rout was on. Tyler finished with a double-double as he scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds (6 offensive).

"I was just trying to go out there and give a lot of effort, especially because the coach has been getting on me," Tyler said. "Getting after the glass and getting a lot of rebounds…I'm just trying to do what I can, and make the most of my opportunities."

UCF withstood a rough 33.3% shooting second half where they missed all seven three-point shots and actually widened their halftime lead.

"The offense was too stagnant, there was too much standing around, we settled for some things," Speraw said. "We just didn't shoot it very well."

Derek Williams was the lone bright spot for the Mustangs as he scored 17 points on 7-11 shooting. The rest of the team combined for just 28 points on just 10-46 shooting.

Jermaine Taylor once again led the Knights in scoring as he bucketed 22 points in just 28 minutes, including three vicious dunks. Kendrick Zondervan added 6 points and 7 rebounds, while Issac Sosa chipped in with 8 points. A.J. Rompza led the Knights with 11 assists, and he also grabbed 6 rebounds.

With the victory, UCF moves to 14-6 overall, and 4-2 in conference. The Knights will now hit the road as they travel to New Orleans to take on the Tulane Green Wave on Saturday.

"Tulane beat Tulsa at Tulane, so they're going to be a tough team at home," Speraw said following the game. "They're very capable, they have a good post-up player in Louisme, a good point guard in Sims. They're a team that plays very hard and competes very hard. They're well coached by Coach Dickerson, so they're one of those teams that's a little bit different at home than on the road. It will be difficult to go in there, and we have to go in there with the right frame of mind, with some toughness."

The Knights are 11-1 at the friendly confines of the UCF Arena, but just 3-5 away from home.

"It's nice for us to do what we're doing at home, but we have to get something done on the road," Coach Speraw said emphatically.

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