Eight-game losing streak snapped against Tulsa
Published: Sunday, February 13, 2011
Updated: Sunday, February 13, 2011 16:02
Thirty eight days later, the Knights are winners again.
The Knights (15-8, 2-8) snapped their eight-game losing streak, beating the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (13-11, 6-4) 58-57 on Saturday night at the UCF Arena.
A Tulsa three-point attempt at the buzzer evoked eerie reminders of Wednesday's loss to Memphis, but this time, the shot didn't drop.
"I had flashbacks in my head," said a relieved Marcus Jordan, of the last second attempt.
UCF used a tough defensive effort to get back into the win column. The Knights held Tulsa to 36 percent shooting from the field. Tulsa was led by Justin Hurtt and his game-high 23 points, but Hurtt was the only Golden Hurricane player in double digits, as UCF limited input from his supporting cast.
"Definitely, defense won us the game," said head coach Donnie Jones.
The Knights were led in scoring by forward Keith Clanton. Clanton totaled 16 points for UCF, 12 of which came in the second half, as the sophomore standout came up big down the stretch.
Jordan added 15 points for UCF, and P.J. Gaynor led the team with eight rebounds. B oth Gaynor and Jordan played impressive defense throughout the game.
The Knights, who went into the half trailing 29-25, used a 10-0 run early in the second half to take a lead they would not relinquish.
UCF did not fare much better from the field then Tulsa, shooting 38 percent, but it proved to be just enough to get the job done.
An announced crowd of 7,008 gave the team an ovation as they resumed a postgame tradition fans hadn't seen in 38 days: a postgame lap around the Arena.
"We're going to cherish this for tonight, and then get ready for Tulane tomorrow," Jordan said.
It was an opportune time for a slump-buster, with the Knights heading out on the road for three consecutive away games.
"We're going to be traveling across the world here soon," Jones said.
Back in the win column, the Knights can look ahead to finishing what can still be a successful season. The win tied last season's win total at 15.
But don't ask anyone about the possibility of another win streak.
"I'm tired of streaks," Jones said. "I just want to focus on one game at a time."
The Knights' road swing will start Wednesday night at Tulane, followed by a trip to UAB on Saturday.