In the first of two meetings this season, the UCF Knights managed to bully the USF Bulls in "Blackout The Bulls" night at the CFE Arena to snap a six-game losing streak.
"It's been a long time, it seems, since the last victory," head coach Donnie Jones said.
The rivalry stayed true as the Knights (10-13), anchored by Kasey Wilson and B.J. Taylor, held on 73-62 to add one more win to the win column. UCF has won five out of its last eight games against the Bulls (7-18).
"Every time we play USF, we look at it differently just because they're right up the street. They don't like us; we don't like them," Staphon Blair said.
After missing last game with a concussion and sitting out of practice the past 10 days, Wilson went 7 for 10 from the field for 18 points and added 11 boards to give him his second double-double of the season.
"I told him [Wilson] he doesn't have to practice anymore, just show up to the games," Jones joked. "I was really proud of him tonight."
In his second game back since suffering a concussion against Cincinnati on Jan. 25, Taylor was back to his old self as he put up 15 points and had the teams' only two steals on the night.
Blair racked up 14 points and seven boards in 35 minutes on the court. He gave the blacked-out student section a reason to cheer with three alley-oops and another dunk in which he hung on the rim until the crowd went wild.
"Every time I dunk, I just put so much intensity into the dunk because it just gets me hype and makes me play harder," Blair said. "I'm thinking, 'All right, I'm just dunking to get the whole bench into the game.'"
Jones said he was happy his team pulled out the victory to snap a six-game skid, but with six games remaining in the season they can't look too far forward.
"[I told them to] play together, play hard and play smart, and the win will take care of itself," he said. "You just take them one at a time, and I think that's the old coach cliché, but it's true."
The Knights will cap their last two-game home stand of the season atwhen they host Houston. They defeated Houston in overtime 79-78 in the first matchup of the season.
Jarrod Heil is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future. Find him on Twitter@JHeil11.