It was a closer game this time around to the end, but it was the same disappointing result for the Knights who lost to Southern MIss 78 to 74. The Knights were their own worst enemy at the free throw line as they hit just 12 of 22 free throws on the game which negated a 53 percent effort from the floor but compounded a 4 of 16 effort from behind the arc.
Southern Miss shot just 45 percent from the floor but was deadly accurate from the free throw line hitting 29 of 37 and dominated the Knights on the glass winning the battle of the boards 31 to 23.
The highlight for the Knights today was the excellent play by guard Isaiah Sykes who scored a career high 27 points while adding 10 rebounds. Marcus Jordan was the only other Knight in double figures as he scored 12 points but it came on a 4 of 12 effort from the floor in which he missed all four of his 3-point attempts and was 4 of 8 from the line. Keith Clanton was contained all game for the first time all season as he attempted just six shots while playing nearly the entire game and scored converting three of them for scores. Freshman Kasey Wilson played excellent minutes off the bench scoring nine points and grabbing three rebounds during UCF’s rally in the second half.
Southern Miss had four different players in double figures led by Jonathan Mills who scored 18 points, including 12 of 13 from the free throw line, and grabbed seven rebounds. LaShay Page continued his sharp shooting from the outside drilling three 3-point shots and scoring 15 ponts on 5 of 10 shooting while Neil Watson scored 15 as well, 11 of which came from the free throw line.
Southern Miss cements their hold of first place in Conference USA at 8-3 while UCF slides down to fourth place at 7-4 and has a week to recover from the disappointing loss before hosting East Carolina on February 18th.