The Knights faced off with the Pirates for the second time in two weeks, only this time instead of winning by three, they cruised to a 22-point victory, 89-67.
UCF shot an efficient 54 percent from the field and 44 percent from deep for the game. They got wherever they wanted down low, scoring 38 of the team's 86 points in the painted area.
The Knights' big men, freshman Tacko Fall and junior Justin McBride were major forces inside, tallying 20 of their combined 24 points in the first half alone. After McBride collected his second personal foul he simply tagged in Fall so he could have his turn feasting in the paint.
“We just played basketball. That’s like my little brother [Fall] … I was just telling him you know play ball and just bring energy, bring effort, control the things you can control," McBride said. "We were ranked ninth in our conference, that’s disrespectful, but you don’t say [anything] you just clock in and show people."
The Knights were hitting on all cylinders in the first half, resulting in a 29-14 early lead eight minutes into the game.
UCF shot 67 percent from the field in the first half and drenched the Pirates from three-point range, shooting 50 percent while holding the Pirates to just 39 percent from the field.
There were five different players in double figures for the Knights with three players tied for the team-high 13 points.
UCF’s 18-point assist total was indicative of their tremendous ball movement. The Knights average 14 assists on the season and they reached that mark (15) in the first 20 minutes of play.
“We talk about who we want to be. Each time you watch a team play how do you want to be revealed," said head coach Donnie Jones. "You can tell how a team wants to play by the way they move the ball. Move it, pass it, so we’ve worked on that … those guys are starting to buy in and trust each other."
UCF will continue conference play, matching up against USF for the second time this season at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa. Wednesday at 6:15 p.m.
Christopher Davis is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on twitter at @ChristopherDTV or email him at ChristopherD@CentralFloridaFuture.com