One month ago, these two teams collided to provide the most entertaining basketball game of the season for Conference USA. Last night, the game looked more like a #1 seed taking on a #16 seed during March Madness. Then again, as one Twitter follower stated, some 16 seeds have put up more fight than what UCF did last night. They led 4-2 early in the game and never led again as Memphis dominated every aspect of the game on their way to an 84-55 romp on Senior Night.
Memphis shot 59 percent from the floor and scored 44 of its 84 points inside the paint. They were 8 of 22 from 3-point land and won the battle of the boards 34 to 28. Memphis had 22 assists to help offset their 15 turnovers but also scored 22 points off 18 UCF turnovers.
Memphis had four players in double figures led by presumptive conference player of the year Will Barton who scored 18 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. Tarik Black dominated the paint scoring 14 points on 7 of 8 shooting around the rim to aid in the cause.
UCF was led in scoring by Isaiah Sykes who scored 13 points on 5 of 11 shooting including a coast-to-coast dunk that made ESPN’s Top Ten plays of the evening. He was the only player to score in double figures as Marcus Jordan and Keith Clanton were held to just 10 points on 4 of 14 shooting and Clanton fouled out of the game. Josh Crittle had his best game in some time scoring eight points in 18 minutes while not fouling out.
The loss drops UCF to 9-6 in the conference standings with Marshall and UAB just a half game back for that coveted fourth spot in the standings. UAB is UCF’s final opponent this season and the Blazers will be traveling to Orlando for that game this Saturday. UAB hosts Tulsa tonight so a loss in that contest gives UCF a little more breathing room.
The conference tie-breaker first looks at head to head and then looks at how team’s did aganst the highest winning percentage in the standings (Memphis). UCF is the only team of the three that has a win against Memphis.