For the third straight season, the UCF Knights opened up Conference USA play with a victory as they defeated the Tulane Green Wave 60-53 in Orlando. Marcus Jordan led all scorers with 19 points and A.J. Rompza added another 11 points as the duo from Chicago provided exactly half of the Knights’ offensive output on the evening.
UCF shot just 40 percent from the floor on the evening but that was offset by going 6 of 13 on 3-point attempts. UCF attempted just 13 free throws on the evening which is a very low total for a team that is in the top 25 in the nation in terms of free throw attempts. The Knights had a +11 advantage on the glass out-rebounding Tulane 43-32 with Keith Clanton pulling down 12 of those rebounds. He was held to just 8 points on 4 of 12 shooting so he will have to wait at least one more game to join the 1000 point club of UCF scorers in program history.
UCF goes on the road to face an East Carolina team that got the better of them in three matchups last season. The Pirates were 12 point victors in Orlando in January 2011, and followed that up with a seven point win at home two weeks later. The two teams faced off in the opening round of the CUSA Tournament in El Paso and ECU blew UCF out by 15 points. UCF has struggled in road games within the conference as they are just 4-14 in CUSA games away from Orlando.