ORLANDO, Fla. - The UCF men’s basketball team used a dominating inside performance Sunday to post an 83-63 victory over Bethune-Cookman at CFE Arena. Three Knights finished with double digits in scoring, led by Isaiah Sykes with 22 points.
UCF (2-1) scored 45 of its points in the paint and finished with a 55-24 edge on the glass, grabbing 23 offensive boards. The win was the ninth straight for the Knights over Bethune-Cookman (1-2).
The Wildcats led 16-10 early, but the Knights used a 12-2 run late in the first half to pull away. During the stretch, UCF held Bethune-Cookman scoreless for a four-minute span. Kasey Wilson capped the run with a triple at the 4:47 mark that gave the hosts a 29-18 edge.
With the win, the Knights bounced back from their 12-point loss to Florida State on Wednesday.
“I have seen some steps toward [the right] direction,” UCF head coach Donnie Jones said. “We are nowhere where we need to be. We still have to be a better team at sharing the basketball. I think we need to continue to trust our teammates. I thought we made some strides over the weekend from the loss and I saw us do some better things today.”
In a reserve role, Sykes added eight assists and eight rebounds in the win. Calvin Newell recorded 18 points and Tristan Spurlock shot 3-of-3 from deep on his way to 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
The contest concluded a three-game homestand to open the season for the Knights. UCF’s next three games are away from home and the team will not play again at CFE Arena until hosting Stetson on Dec. 7.
The Knights will return to action on Thursday at Miami. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and ESPN3 will broadcast the matchup.
UCF shot 43.9 percent for the contest. Ricky Johnson and Maurice Taylor each scored 15 points for the Wildcats.