BIRMINGHAM, Ala.,None - The following is a press release from UCF Athletics:
The UCF men’s basketball team built a big lead Saturday and then held on for a 48-41 Conference USA victory over UAB at Bartow Arena. The victory for the Knights, who improved to 15-4 overall and 5-1 in C-USA, was the first in eight meetings with the Blazers.
UCF led by as many as 14 points in the first half, and recovered to get the win after UAB (6-12, 1-4 C-USA) grabbed a three-point advantage with 5:12 to play in the game.
UCF regained the lead when junior guard Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) found sophomore Tristan Spurlock (Woodbridge, Va.) for a triple with 4:28 to play. The Blazers did not score the rest of the contest as UCF hit four free throws in the final two minutes and got a key basket from junior forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) down the stretch.
“I am proud of our effort late in the game,” UCF head coach Donnie Jones said. “Our guys really executed with the game on the line and that says a lot about our team.”
The 41 points scored by UAB were the third-fewest allowed by the Knights in program history.
The Knights raced out to a 12-0 lead to start the game as UAB did not score its first basket until the 11:54 mark. UCF’s advantage grew to 18-6 with 7:43 to play in the half after junior center Jos Crittle (Chicago, Ill.) scored inside. UCF limited the Blazers to just 6-of-24 shooting for the first half. UCF’s advantage could have been larger, but the Knights were hampered by nine turnovers.
Clanton totaled 10 points for the game and was the only Knight to finish with double digits in scoring. He blocked three shots against UAB and during the second half became UCF’s all-time leader in swats as he has 142 for his career. Jordan added nine points the win.
UCF shot 38.3 percent from the floor and limited UAB to 28.6 percent shooting. Jordan Swing and Cameron Moore each scored 12 points for the hosts.
The contest was the first of two-straight on the road for the Knights. UCF will meet host Tulsa Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern. The contest will be televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network.