Knights rattled by physical Florida State defense in road loss
Published: Monday, November 14, 2011
Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2011 13:11
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The UCF Knights (1-1) were unable to overcome a suffocating and physical Florida State (2-0) defense, losing to the No.24 Seminoles 73-50 Monday night in Tallahassee.
The Knights shot only 30.5 percent for the evening, and had no answer for FSU's athletic frontcourt. Seminoles forward Bernard James led all scorers with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
"I don't think we came to play to our potential that our (front court) can normally play," UCF forward Keith Clanton said. "I think everybody is still getting adjusted… I feel like as the season goes on, we'll get better with (the rotations)."
Clanton and guard Marcus Jordan each had 11 points for the Knights to lead the team, but the two players, looked to as the team's main scoring options, each struggled in different ways.
Jordan, playing his first game of the season after sitting out the exhibition and home opener, hit his first shot from the floor and looked efficient at times. But the Seminoles keyed on him defensively and he struggled as the contest went on, finishing five-of-16.
Clanton, someone UCF head coach Donnie Jones has said will need to produce on a nightly basis, took only seven shots for the entire game and seemed rattled by the Seminoles tough defensive effort.
"Their length, their athleticism, their size really bothered us inside," Jones said. "Keith's got to score for us… We were putting the ball in his hands to make plays and he was getting frustrated because he wasn't able to get to the rim or get anything easy with their size."
Unable to drive most of the game, the Knights were left to rely on their shooting from the perimeter, something that did not bode well for the squad.
UCF finished six-of-30 on three point attempts. The Knights' early season struggles from the free throw line continued in Tallahassee as well, with UCF finishing the contest shooting 40 percent from the line.
Defensively, it wasn't all bad for the Knights. FSU had 19 turnovers, nine of which were UCF steals. The Knights also blocked five shots. The scoring draughts on the other end of the floor, however, seemed to transcend the defensive end, souring what in many ways started as a good defensive effort.
"I thought our kids played hard," Jones said. "We played well enough defensively for a while but when you go for long periods of time and don't score, it makes it very hard to win against a very good team like this."
The Knight, who had only a day between their home opener against St. Thomas and the contest against the Seminoles, will not have a few days to recuperate and grow from the loss before playing again. UCF will host High Point on Friday at the UCF Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.