The Knights squeaked past their in-state rival the USF Bulls, 75-64, with a game high 20 points, six rebounds, and two assists coming from sophomore guard Adonys Henriquez.
“BJ [Taylor] being hurt, I just want to step up an just try to do everything that I can do, so just make shots and just be a leader out there,” said sophomore guard Adonys Henriquez.
UCF shot the ball 52 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arch, keeping their assists high and turnover low with an eight to four turnover count to assists ratio for the second half.
Redshirt junior forward Matt Williams Jr. and Henriquez combined for 33 points with 8-for-15 from three-point range.
Williams was inserted into the starting lineup and was ready to contribute, with 13 points, three rebounds, and three assists.
“I missed a lot of time being injured, so my teammates just uplifting me, telling me to stay focused … helps a lot,”Williams said.
Redshirt sophomore forward A.J. Davis had another solid performance with 14 of his 16 points coming in the second half, adding five assists, four rebounds, a steal, and a block. Davis climbing the baseline for a jam over a USF defender typified his aggressive focus in the second half.
The Knights started the Game scorching hot shooting 53 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep, while holding the Bulls to 44 percent from the field and 17 percent from three.
UCF pulled to an early 31-16 lead with 5:52 remaining, but the Knights couldn’t pull away as USF went on a 16-4 run to close the half down three, 35-32.
“We were taking the right shots early in the game, we got that lead and got up 15 … we were getting what we wanted and then we stopped defending on the other end. We let them get momentum and it’s a game of momentum and we have to stop that, “ said Head Coach Donnie Jones.
The Knights will hit the road versus the undefeated SMU Mustangs (13-0) Sunday at 4 p.m. at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, Texas.
Christopher Davis is a digital producer for the Central Florida Future.