Knights come up just short against Marshall, fall 65-64
Published: Saturday, January 14, 2012
Updated: Saturday, January 14, 2012 22:01
Two free throws by Marshall sophomore guard DeAndre Kane put the Thundering Herd (13-4 , 4-0) ahead once again with 14.5 seconds remaining and would prove to be the difference as the Knights (13-4, 3-1) fell in a heartbreaker, 65-64, on the road Saturday night.
Junior guard Marcus Jordan's layup attempt would come up short and the Knights would not get another shot off, as the five game winning streak for UCF came to an end in a tightly contest game, pitting two of Conference USA's top teams against one another.
"We had our chances there in the last minute to win this basketball game," Knights' associated head coach Shawn Finney said afterwards during a postgame radio interview.
Indeed, the Knights led twice in the game's waning moments, each time by a point, but had an opportunity to go up by as many as three.
Jordan was fouled with under a minute and missed the front end of a one-and-one, a miss that would end up haunting UCF as they came up just short in what could have been a very important win.
Jordan, who did have some key buckets down the stretch, struggled overall, shooting three-for-17 on the night for a total of nine points.
Kane led all scorers with 16 points, including the game-winning free throws, and junior forward Keith Clanton led UCF with 14 points.
The Knights trailed by as many as eight throughout the game, but continually rallied back despite facing a hostile, sell-out crowd in Huntington, W. Va.
UCF received a notable performance off the bench from sophomore forward Tristan Spurlock. Spurlock tallied 12 points on five-for-nine shooting, many of which were key buckets for his squad.
Perhaps what hurt the Knights most were the 16 offensive rebounds the Thundering Herd totaled, leading to 18 second chance points.
It was head coach Donnie Jones' second return to his former school, and he, as well as the team, were again received with large boos throughout the contest. At times the hostile atmosphere at the arena spilled over into the game; there were a combined three technical fouls.
Overall, though, this contest was just another tightly played conference game, one the Knights could not find a way to come out on top of.
UCF won't have long to dwell on the difficult loss. The Knights return to their home floor Wednesday night to host the Memphis Tigers. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.