UCF Drops Contest to ECU, 89-75

Twenty-four points from senior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.) was not enough as the UCF men's basketball team dropped an 89-75 Conference USA contest to East Carolina at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum Saturday evening. The Knights (15-8, 5-4 C-USA) were playing without their starting point guard, freshman A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.).

The Pirates, who improved to 12-10 overall and 4-5 in league play, shot 63.0 percent overall. East Carolina made 15-of-24 (62.5 percent) of its 3-point field goal attempts.

The hosts led by 19 points with 11:49 to play, but the Knights got back into the game with a 21-9 run. Taylor totaled 10 points during the spurt, and senior center Kenrick Zondervan (Hoofddorp, Holland) added seven points. Zondervan, who registered a career-high 19 points, capped the run with a 3-point play at the 5:53 mark that cut the East Carolina lead to 72-63.

UCF would get no closer as Jamar Abrams nailed a triple on the Pirates' ensuing possession. Abrams led all players with 25 points. He shot 10-of-12 overall and 5-of-6 from deep.

"It was a tremendous effort by their team. Obviously, they shot lights out," UCF head coach Kirk Speraw said. "We need to have a better effort defensively, on the perimeter, and stopping dribble penetration."

East Carolina shot 59.3 percent from the field in the opening half and took a 43-33 edge into intermission.

Taylor made 4-of-9 shots from behind-the-arc. He scored 18 of his points in the second half.

Zondervan shot 7-of-14 and made all five of his free-throw attempts. The Knights shot 81.8 percent at the line. Junior forward Tony Davis (Sarasota, Fla.) recorded his second-straight double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds).

Five Pirates finished with double-figures in scoring. Sam Hinnant, who totaled 18 points in the win, connected of 5-of-9 attempts from deep.

UCF will conclude a two-game road swing Wednesday at UTEP. Tip-off in El Paso is set for 9 p.m. Eastern.

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