AAC Basketball: UCF pulls away in 2nd half to defeat Tulane
UCF Knights controlled the 2nd half of their AAC basketball opener to knock off the Tulane Green Wave.
After a close first half, the UCF Knights pulled away in the second to get their first conference win of the season Wednesday night, defeating the Tulane Green Wave 85-72.
Tulane played UCF tight in the first half. The Knights trailed 32-31 at halftime despite shooting 57 percent from the field over the course of the first 20 minutes.
However, turnovers plagued UCF as they turned it over 12 times during the first half. Tulane took advantage and scored 10 points off of those turnovers.
Tulane continued to hold a close lead in the second half. But it didn’t last long, as the Knights continued their strong shooting, spreading points around to everyone on the floor. Thanks to their second half effort, UCF shot 55 percent from the field during the game. They also held an edge in the paint, outscoring Tulane 38-28.
The Knights also had an edge at the free throw line, going 30-for-45 at the charity stripe. By comparison, Tulane went 18-for-25 from the line.
Four Knights finished the game with double-digit points. Matt Williams had a big night for UCF, scoring 21 points. Williams made his impact on the perimeter, sinking five of his six field goals from beyond the three-point arc.
Meanwhile, A.J. Davis racked up a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. Tanksley Efianayi finished with 14 points, while Chad Brown scored 12. Additionally, Tacko Fall made the most of his 18 minutes. The 7’6″ forward had seven points and seven rebounds.
Tulane scored points despite still acclimating to head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr’s triangle offense. Kain Harris led all scorers with 25 points for Tulane, while Melvin Frazier had 13 and Malik Morgan had 12.
Tulane drops to 3-10 on the season. It’s the third consecutive loss for the Green Wave. UCF meanwhile goes to 1-0 in conference play and 10-4 on the season.
The win for the Knights avenges a 65-63 first round AAC tournament loss last March. In their next games, UCF will stay home on New Year’s Eve to face Temple, while Tulane plays the Bearcats in Cincinnati on New Year’s Day.
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