UCF Tops Tulane in Overtime, 79-74

Senior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.) scored seven of his game-high 28 points in overtime as the UCF men's basketball team defeated Tulane, 79-74, in Conference USA play Saturday at Fogelman Arena. The Knights (15-6, 5-2 C-USA), who overcame a 10-point second-half deficit, have won five-consecutive contests.

The Green Wave (9-11, 3-4) got within in three points with 13 seconds left in the extra session after an Asim McQueen layup, but Taylor put the game out of reach with a pair of free throws. UCF shot 11-of-13 (84.6 percent) at the free-throw line in overtime.

"Our guys showed great determination and great desire in coming back to win this," UCF head coach Kirk Speraw said. "In our league, every game is tough, especially every road game. We did not execute as well offensively as I would have liked to, but we made some big stops when we needed to."

The Knights limited Tulane to a 36.5 percent shooting effort for the game. The hosts connected on just 3-of-8 field goal attempts during the extra session.

After a dunk from UCF senior center Kenrick Zondervan (Hoofddorp, Holland) gave UCF a 64-62 lead with just over a minute left in regulation, Tulane's Kevin Sims sent the game into overtime by hitting a pair of foul shots with 52 seconds remaining.

The Knights got the ball back after Sims' free throws, but turned it over when a desperation 3-point attempt from freshman guard A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) did not draw iron as the shot clock expired. Eric Vianney could have given the Green Wave a victory, but he missed a triple with two seconds remaining.

Taylor connected on 9-of-19 field goals for the game and shot 5-of-10 from 3-point range. He was one of four Knights who finished with double-figures in scoring.

After leading 36-34 at the break, Tulane built its advantage to 10 points midway through the second half. A pair of free throws from sophomore forward A.J. Tyler (Palm Harbor, Fla.) at the 10:04 mark sparked a 13-3 run that got UCF back into the contest. Freshman guard Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) capped the spurt with a jumper with 4:47 to play that knotted the score at 57.

UCF shot 45.9 percent overall for the game and recorded 17 assists on 28 field goals. The Knights went 16-of-18 (88.9 percent) at the line.

Rompza totaled 13 points and five assists in the win. Sosa (12) and Tyler (10) also recorded double-digits in points. Junior forward Tony Davis (Sarasota, Fla.) led all players with 12 rebounds.

Sims shot 10-of-11 at the charity stripe and totaled 21 points in the losing effort. Vianney chipped in with 17 points for the Green Wave.

The Knights will return to action Wednesday, hosting Houston at 7 p.m. at the UCF Arena. The contest will be televised live nationally on CBS College Sports. The game is being dubbed a Whiteout and all fans are encouraged to wear white to support the Knights.


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