NIT appearance, season end for Knights with lopsided loss to Drexel
UCF loses big in Philly, 81-56
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2012 16:03
The UCF Knights’ first round National Invitation Tournament matchup with Drexel represented a chance at redemption after falling hard to Memphis in the Conference USA Tournament.
What the Knights’ (22-11) postseason appearance ended up being, however, was an exercise in futility. The No. 6-seed Knights simply could not keep up with the hot-shooting No. 3-seed Drexel Dragons (29-6) on the road in Philadelphia, losing badly, 81-56.
“Give [Drexel] credit. They are very good basketball team,” UCF head coach Donnie Jones said in a release. “They really hit some tough shots.”
Junior forward Keith Clanton led UCF with 12 points and six rebounds. No other Knight registered double-digits in the blowout.
Drexel was led by Chris Fouch and his 19 points.
The game was a tale of efficiency from the perimeter for Drexel and a lack thereof for the Knights. The Dragons shot 46 percent from beyond the arc, making 11-of-24 attempts, while UCF made only 4-of-15 attempts.
The loss ended the season for the Knights and the careers of seniors A.J. Rompza and P.J. Gaynor.
“It is something that will come with time,” Rompza said in a release. “I don’t think it has kicked in yet, it will probably over the next couple of days. You leave no regrets when you step on the court.”
UCF finished the season having posted back-to-back 20-win campaigns and should return four starters next season.
Click here to read the UCF Athletics official recap of the game.