DALLAS, Tex. — The holiday break has come and gone, and college basketball is set to get underway once again on Wednesday evening.
Wednesday marks the start of conference play for many teams across the country, and with that comes a plethora of intriguing match-ups as a late Christmas gift for fans across the nation. One of those must-see games will take place in Dallas, as the SMU Mustangs put their 31-game home winning streak on the line against the visiting UCF Knights.
Both teams come out of the holiday break riding winning streaks, and have the look of two top teams in the American Athletic Conference race this season. A win for either team will boost their confidence, as they try to keep pace with the Wichita State Shockers.
In 2016-17, the Mustangs won both meetings against the Knights. They picked up a 65-60 win in Orlando in their only regular season meeting, then added a 70-59 win in the AAC Tournament. UCF will look to score a little revenge on Wednesday night on the Mustangs’ home court.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Faced with their first real conference test, the UCF Knights (11-3, 2-0) obliterated Temple (9-6, 0-2), 77-53. Senior Matt Williams and sophomore Tacko Fall led the charge with 17 points apiece.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Life without point guard B.J. Taylor rolled on for UCF this evening.
And, rather smoothly at that.
After requiring 45 minutes to defeat Miami (OH) on Sunday, the Knights jumped on in-state rival Bethune-Cookman, marching to a 71-41 win in dominant fashion.
“I thought it was one of our best defensive efforts of the season,” said UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins. “In studying their players, I thought our team knew they were capable of scoring the basketball and our guys did a great job following the game plan.”
ORLANDO, Fla. — Year one of the Johnny Dawkins era has had its highs and lows for the UCF Knights (8-3).
Entering Sunday, the team was stuck in a lull that included a home loss to Penn and a road defeat at George Washington. During the losing streak, UCF averaged just 54 points per game, 17.5 less than their mark during the first eight contests.
Today, the Knights marched out of the precipice.
Led by a career-high 31 points from sophomore Tacko Fall, UCF fended off Miami (OH) (5-6), 80-73, in overtime.