With Thanksgiving in the rearview, the UCF men's basketball team certainly did not seem bogged down by holiday helpings of turkey and stuffing as it defeated Bethune-Cookman University, 75-67, to move to 4-1 on the season.
UCF played without its leading scorer, B.J. Taylor, who sustained an ankle injury in the first half of Wednesday nights' loss to Davidson College.
Justin McBride led the Knights' offense with 31 points, shattering his previous career high of 13. He picked up 14 points in his first 10 minutes, shooting 7-for-8 from the field, and finished up the contest 12-for-15 with 8 boards, a block and a steal in 22 minutes of action.
"[I was] posting hard and my teammates just really made an effort to throw me the ball," McBride said. "I started scoring a little bit and the basket got bigger and bigger. And I was knocking down free throws, so I just felt good."
Head coach Donnie Jones was pleased with his center's performance.
"I'm really happy for him [McBride]. He needed some success. And tonight [he] really just dominated inside, and that was the difference in the game for us on the offensive end," Jones said. "I was very proud of him."
Senior Kasey Wilson was second in the Knights' scoring depth with 12 points, six rebounds, three assists and a block in 35 minutes of play.
UCF never trailed B-CU and were only tied twice throughout the entire game. The Knights broke a 7-7 tie on a three pointer from junior Shaheed Davis, allowing them to regain the lead which they held for the remainder of the game.
UCF went into the locker room clutching a 39-30 lead over the Wildcats, but saw that lead slowly slip from its grasp midway through the second half. Jones had the team regroup as UCF went on a 22-16 run to close out the game and seal the win.
"[Coach talked about] intensity, attention to detail, you know, guarding the three-point line," Wilson said. "We're just trying to build on these things, and it takes time. It probably wasn't a pretty win, but we still got the win, and that's really all that matters at the end of the day."
UCF will close out its longest home stand of the season at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2 against Georgia Southern.