Orlando, FL – In front of a crowd of 4,143, the UCF Knights pulled away from the William & Mary Tribe late in the second half to win 75-64. A.J. Davis led the way for the Knights with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Justin Pierce led the Tribe with 19 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
The first half consisted of poor shooting with both teams shooting less than 40 percent and UCF going 0-of-8 from deep. William & Mary was able to get open shots from good sets and poor defensive rotations by UCF. They also kept the ball moving, not allowing it to get stuck or stagnant. Unfortunately they were just not able to get the shots to go down. UCF on the other hand still hasn’t found their offensive identity since B.J. Taylor went down with injury. Very stagnant ball movement and poor shooting led to William & Mary taking a 1-point lead into the half. In the second half, UCF got out into transition early in the half that was able to spark their offensive production, shooting 61.5 percent from the field in this half. It was back and forth most of the second half, but UCF was able to pull away late behind Chance McSpadden and his 19 points.
7-6 Tacko Fall made his season debut off the bench today with 13 points and seven rebounds. You could tell once he got into the game that it made the Tribe think twice when they got into the paint about putting it up, leading to moments of hesitation. He was able to physically dominate his defenders, but showed the rust through his two turnovers and an offensive foul. Offensively he did not need to do much besides catch, turn, and put the ball into the basket. Defensively, he mainly anchored their zone defense and his presence forced the Tribe to shoot perimeter shots. He is UCF’s best pro prospect, so it will be interesting to see how much he has improved from last season once he goes up against stiffer competition.
Davis once again provided the senior leadership and energy to lift the Knights today. He so far has shown consistent production, hitting the boards hard and getting his teammates involved. Even though he plays the 4, he really is a SF/PF hybrid that needs to improve his shot to be a threat on the perimeter. His athleticism allows him to drive into the lane at will as well as guard any position on the floor. He forced some things around the rim today, but overall had another solid game today. McSpadden got hot late in the second half, leading to UCF pulling away in this game. He was able to score in a variety of ways with a very smooth stroke. He needs to improve his footwork on defense to be a better defender, but he will have plenty of opportunities due to Taylor’s injury to prove this game wasn’t a fluke.
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