On Thursday afternoon, the tallest player in the NCAA had a field day in the first round of the Gildan Charleston Classic, as did the rest of his team.
Sophomore center Tacko Fall, who is listed at 7’6”, was dominant in the paint against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, recording his second-straight double-double of the young season.
But, it wasn’t all about Fall’s performance. As a whole the UCF Knights took it to the Bulldogs from the outset, never giving Mississippi State a chance to build positive momentum of their own.
UCF led wire-to-wire on the afternoon, cruising past the Bulldogs and into the semi-finals of the Gildan Charleston Classic with an 86-61 victory.
The Knights scored the first four points of the game, and would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game. Quinndary Weatherspoon hit a three pointer to get the Bulldogs on the board, trailing 4-3 early on.
They would later make it 6-5 for the Knights, but that was as close as Mississippi State would get in the game.
UCF would stretch their lead to as many as 28 points in the first half, and they took a 53-33 lead into halftime.
In the second half, it was more of the same. The lead would stretch to as wide as 26 points in the second half, and the Bulldogs were never able to get within single digits of the Knights.
UCF opened up the Gildan Charleston Classic with an 86-61 victory over Mississippi State.
Four different players scored in double figures for the Knights, led by Fall’s 26 points. He also added 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. Tanksley Efianayi added 19 points, while Matt Williams added 10 points of his own.
Fellow guard B.J. Taylor flirted with a triple-double, recording 17 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds.
Quinndary Weatherspoon led the way for the Bulldogs, scoring a team-high 19 points in the loss. I.J. Ready chipped in with 15 points of his own.
In the semi-finals of the Gildan Charleston Classic on Friday, the UCF Knights (2-0, 0-0) will take on the winner of the game between the Boise State Broncos and the College of Charleston Cougars.
On the consolation side of the bracket, the Mississippi State Bulldogs (1-1, 0-0) will take on the loser of the game between the Broncos and Cougars.
– T. Bennett