UCF Bounces Back To Beat Memphis
UCF Knights bounces back from a four game losing streak and defeat Memphis by the final score of 72-57.
The Knights end their four game losing streak thanks to a fantastic start as they went on a 13-0 run to start the game. The offense has been the best it has been in the past four games as they shot 15-27 (55.5%) from the field in the first half, 23-43 for the game (53.5%) and 6-12 from the three point line in the first half, 8-16 for the game as well. UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins was very impressed with the way shoot the ball tonight as he had this to say about the shot selection tonight.
“I thought the shot selection was good,” said coach Dawkins. “I think we’ve been moving the ball well the last several games but the shots haven’t always falling and that can always distort on what you do offensively. Tonight I felt our guys made those same connecting plays and guys were knocking down shots and when we do that then we’re really tough because then it gives us a chance to set up our defense and really get after teams. So I was really proud that we were able to move the basketball, share it, play together and we know who our go to guys are but we want them to find it throughout our flow and not just always coming down and throwing them the basketball and have them shoot.”
Matt Williams went off in the game as he scored 20 points on 5-8 from the three point line and was playing his heart out on the defensive end of the floor as he had seven rebounds. After the game, Williams had this to say about making the necessary adjustments they had to make on the defensive end after their last four loses.
“I feel like we have to get back to our principles,” Williams said. “We had gotten away from what was helping us win and that was defense. We started worrying about the wrong things and coach Dawkins cleaned it up this in practice. He put through a lot of defensive drills and a lot of defensive minded things and just things we needed to play better defense and we worry about offense later.”
BJ Taylor also went off in tonight’s game as he went for 16 points while also contributing on the defensive side of the ball as he also had seven rebounds as well. Taylor was just a force to be reckoned with all night as he was just dominating the flow of the game.
Tacko Fall was just a flat out monster inside when he got his opportunities tonight. His defense was unbelievable as he had three blocks in the first half only, four for the game and he also made a couple of nice post moves as well tonight as he finished the game with 15 points and nine rebounds. Fall on if he’s been working on his post moves lately in practice.
“Yeah, those a just moves that I just worked on all summer,” Fall said. “But I just didn’t use them because I never really had to but people are making the adjustments finally so it’s up to me to change up a little bit of the things I do.”
The crowd was on point tonight as well as it was one of the loudest crowds that UCF has had in a while. Coach Dawkins on the crowd’s energy tonight.
“Good crowd, great crowd!” Dawkins said. “With that energy in the building at times was terrific. I mean, we need that and it showed. During a stretch where they were making a runs. Just the fact that our crowd got up, people standing up screaming, yelling at everyone out there. That’s meaningful and I thought it really helped us. I thought our student section was great and we need that.”
The Knights have ended their four game losing streak in tonight’s win and coach Dawkins talked about how important that was to end the losing streak.
“It was a big win for us because we gained some momentum to start the Conference play off,” Dawkins said. “And then we lost momentum and lost tough games especially on the road and we had to rebound from that and I thought our guys did a good job in bouncing back and that will help their overall psyche going forward because they know they’re capable of competing against our conference now and it’s a good win for them.”
With this win, the Knights move to 15-8 (6-5 AAC) and will have one of their toughest tests of the season when they travel to the 14th ranked Cincinnati on February 8th.