UCF 68, No. 4 UConn 63
Marcus Jordan was headed to the foul line for two big shots
Friday when a teammate passed along an encouraging message.
”He told me this shot is in my blood,” Jordan said.
Yup, like father, like son.
Jordan, the son of Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, made two big
free throws to give Central Florida the lead with 3:11 left and the
Knights upset No. 4 Connecticut 68-63 in the semifinals of the
Battle 4 Atlantis, snapping the Huskies’ 16-game winning
Jordan and Keith Clanton each scored 20 points for the Knights
(4-1), who trailed by 17 early in the second half. Jordan also had
seven rebounds and seven assists.
Jeremy Lamb had 15 points for the defending national champion
Huskies (5-1), who lost for the first time since March 5 against
Notre Dame. Alex Oriakhi added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
”I can’t be more disappointed in how we played,” Connecticut
coach Jim Calhoun said. ”We just stopped playing. We couldn’t even
get the ball inbounded near the end. Nobody stepped up and it was a
complete disaster for us.”
Calhoun was particularly disappointed in the last four
”That wasn’t a run, it was an avalanche,” he said.
Connecticut put together a 10-0 run to take a 50-33 lead with 16
minutes left. Lamb sparked the run with a 3-pointer and also hit
two free throws during the surge.
Central Florida then scored 17 of the next 19 points to pull
within two. Clanton kicked off the rally with a 3-pointer and
Jordan finished the spurt with a 3.
Lamb made another 3 to stretch the Huskies’ lead to five, but
they couldn’t hold off the pesky Knights. Jordan converted a layup,
then made the two free throws to give Central Florida a 58-57
advantage. Jordan added four more foul shots down the stretch to
preserve the big win.
Jordan was whistled for a technical with 16 minutes left in the
game, fueling his big final surge.
”I still don’t know why I got the technical,” he said. ”But I
do know I wanted to come out and be more aggressive.”
Isaiah Sykes added 10 points, including consecutive layups that
stretched Central Florida’s lead to 62-57 late in the game. The
Knights will face Harvard in the championship game on Saturday.
Andre Drummond finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and four
blocked shots for the Huskies, who led 38-29 at halftime.
”I feel like I let the team down,” Lamb said. ”I turned the
ball over in key moments. We’ve lost games before but this hurts.
We just need to come out with energy tomorrow and be ready to
Connecticut will play No. 22 Florida State in the consolation
game on Saturday.
Starting point guard Shabazz Napier had seven of the Huskies’ 13
turnovers, compared to eight for the Knights. Lamb had three
Napier went 1 for 7 from the field and finished with four points
and five assists.