Redshirt sophomore forward A.J. Davis pulled up for a deep triple with seconds remaining in the game and missed, ultimately getting another shot to tie the game with a tip-in off the rebound. The ball however wasn’t off his hands in enough time and the Knights fell 62-60 due to .0001 seconds of time not available to Davis.
Temple Head Coach Fran Dunphy candidly described the nature of close games like these as fragile in nature.
“It’s a made shot at one end, missed shot at another—you got to get lucky,” Dunphy said.
At one point, the Knights held the Owls without a basket for a seven minute stretch, holding Temple to just 37 percent shooting in the second half and 40 percent for the game. But the Owls defense was stern as well, holding the Knights to 35 percent for the half and 37 percent for the game.
Freshman center Tacko Fall came off the bench for the second straight game and was highly productive, scoring 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 18 minutes of action.
The Knights got solid production across the board. Redshirt junior forward Matt Williams scored 11 points, Junior guard-forward Tanksley Efianayi added 11 points, and the senior Philadelphia point guard Daiquan Walker scored six points, eight assists and five rebounds.
“When it comes down to the last shot, you playing so hard and then you just fall short, it always hurts, leaves a bitter taste in your mouth,” Walker said.
UCF started out the game with the ball bouncing their way, leading 15-10 with 14:19 left in the half. UCF Surrendered the lead back and forth with Temple five times, with the score tied four times.
The Knights shot a dreadful 38 percent from the field and 25 percent from deep, but only trailed 36-32 at the half thanks to their nine offensive rebounds and 24 rebounds total.
“We competed at a very high level and put ourselves in position to win,” Head Coach Donnie Jones said. “We got a young basketball team here that still believes and they’re buying in and we realize we still got eight more games to play … it’s all going to come down to how we’re playing and how we finish.”
Next game has the Knights slated to face Cincinnati (17-6) on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at the CFE Arena at 7 p.m.
Christopher Davis is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future.