UCF fought its way back into the game after going into halftime down by five, but the Cincinnati Bearcats prevailed for the fifth time in school history, 56-46.
Senior Kasey Wilson was a force for the Knights who could not be reckoned with. His presence on the court demonstrated why he's seeing more and more minutes every game.
"That effort that we got from him tonight, that's what we've been looking for. He continues each game to make strides," head coach Donnie Jones said. "He's been more aggressive and I think he's played with better poise."
Wilson's energy started early in the first half when he beat everybody to the net to grab a rebound, sent a no-look bounce pass to the perimeter, got the board on that same shot and then put a bucket in for his first two points of the game. He earned a double-double in 35 minutes of action and ended the night with 12 points, 11 rebounds and one block.
"[Coach] recruited me to rebound and [bring] high energy and that's just what I'm trying to do," Wilson said. "I'm the senior. I just try and play hard so they follow."
Junior Daquan Walker continued to be productive off the bench for the Knights as he scored 11 points, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, in 32 minutes of play.
"I'm just demanding more of myself," Walker said. "Sometimes I just worry about making mistakes. Lately I've just been like 'I have nothing to lose.' [I] just leave it all out there on the court."
UCF didn't leave the game unscathed, however. Fellow freshmen B.J. Taylor and Adonys Henriquez each went down with injuries: While Henriquez checked back into the game, Taylor remained in the locker room for the rest of the afternoon.
"[Taylor's] having concussion symptoms at this point," Jones said. "We sat him out for cautionary reasons and need to watch him here for a couple days."
Even though UCF didn't walk away with a victory, Jones was happy with his team's performance and the way they're competing in the American Athletic Conference.
"I like how they approach every game," Jones said. "I think our guys are learning what it takes to compete and play at this level, night in and night out."
UCF will complete its two-game home stand at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 28 before heading back on the road.
Jarrod Heil is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future. Find him on Twitter@JHeil11.