Before one of the bigger crowds UCF has enjoyed since opening thir new arena (7,862), UCF didn't look back in a 74-63 revenge win over Houston. It was a loss at Houston last year that sent the Knights on their death spiral from 14-0 potential Cinderellas all the way down to the CBI.
After see-sawing early, the Knights built a comfortable lead during the first half. Houston pulled closer by Halftme, but the Cougars were held off in he second half, and a run in the last 5 minutes sealed the deal for good.
UCF had two double-doubles in the game. Isaiah Sykes led the team with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Keith Clanton had 18 points and 13 rebounds. Marcus Jordan contributed 13 points, and Josh Crittle had 10. It was a quiet scoring night for A.J. Rompza with 4 points, but he also added 5 assists and 4 steals.
Houston was out-rebounded 37-28, and gave up 14 turnovers to UCF's 6. Leading the Cougars were Alandise Harris with 19 points, and TaShawn Thomas with 14.
Meanwhile, SMU had their home conference opener, and ended up getting smacked around by Rice, 68-52. (1,951) The Mustangs just never got any traction against the Owls. Robert Nyakundi had 14 points, and Jeremiah Samarrippas added 12.
UCF (13-3, 3-0) gets head coach Donnie Jones back on Saturday, just in time for him to lead them into his previous digs, Marshall (11-4, 2-0). Houston (9-7, 1-2) hosts Memphis (11-5, 2-0), and SMU (9-7, 1-1) heads to UTEP (8-8, 1-1).