U-G-L-Y and it ain’t got no alibi, but a win on the road is a win on the road. UCF overcame ice cold shooting for most of this game with hitting key shots when it counted and playing suffocating defense to earn its first win in school history against the UAB Blazers 48 to 41. With the win, UCF improves to 5-1 in the conference and with one more win, will match their conference win total from last season.
UCF opened the game 7 of 9 from the floor but made just 11 of its next 38 shots the rest of the way. The Knights were uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball in the second half and finished the game with only eight assists while turning it over 11 times. They did control the battle of the boards 34 to 31, but not in the usual way. Marcus Jordan led the team with eight rebounds while Tristan Spurlock added seven more. Keith Clanton and Isaiah Sykes, who typically lead the charge on the glass, had just three rebounds each in this contest.
Clanton also blocked three shots in this contest, giving him 142 for his career at UCF that spanned less than three seasons. His crucial block late in the second half broke the school record set by Ken Leeks who played four seasons at UCF from 1998 to 1992. Spurlock put together his third straight solid game as the sixth man off the bench hitting two three-point shots to stop UAB rallies, pulled in seven rebounds, and was a big part of the team’s defensive efforts today.
UCF entered this week a combined 0 for 17 against Memphis and UAB in school history and now can claim at least one victory against every Conference USA opponent with the wins against both schools this week. The Knights are now 2-1 in Conference USA road play, which has been a sore spot for the Knights throughout most of their time in the conference. UCF’s next game is on the road at Tulsa who is 3-2 in conference play heading into their road game at Rice this evening and currently has a RPI of 139.