With just 1:25 remaining in the game, senior guard Daiquan Walker took the defense off the dribble, swishing a clutch two-point dagger, leading to a 73-65 senior night victory for the Knights.
“It was a lot of emotions coming through in the beginning of the game,” Walker said. “I was just out their existing, taking in the moment. It felt great to get the win.”
UCF held Tulane to just 38 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent from the perimeter. The game wasn’t perfect shooting-wise for UCF, but the Knights dominated the boards, 46-30, while garnering 10 second-chance points.
Walker was instrumental in the Knights victory, leading all scorers with 20 points and five assists, with sophomore shooting guard Adonys Henriquez not far behind, sitting at 16 points on a 6-for-13 shooting count.
Although this night was dedicated to the seniors, freshman center Tacko Fall was the best player on the court at times. He poured in 17 points, adding 13 rebounds and five blocks in 31 minutes of action.
“We learned how to play together and I just go out there and play hard and have fun,” Fall said.
The Knights came out the game struggling to find a rhythm shooting the basketball. UCF missed three-point-blank layups after knifing through several defenders multiple times to get great looks.
But after trailing by as many as 12 points, the Knights went on a 22-11 run to close the half up by one, 33-32. Tacko Fall’s dominance anchored the run in the first half, tallying 13 points, nine rebounds and four blocks as he came off the bench.
“It’s fun playing with someone his height,” Walker said about Fall. “He’s gaining more confidence over the stretch and [he’s] dominating out there. I always tell him, I’m proud of the way [you’re] playing and no one can do [anything] with you and when you come out with that mindset, you could dominate every game and we need you to be like that.”
The Knights will finish off the regular season on the road versus the Huskies at Harry A Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut on March 6 at 2 p.m.
Christopher Davis is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future.