Cold shooting sinks Knights in 73-50 loss at FSU
Central Florida received some scoring help with the return of Marcus Jordan and P.J. Gaynor.
But even their return from one-game suspensions wasn't enough to overcome a sluggish shooting performance by the Knights.
Tristan Spurlock had 12 points and Keith Clanton and Jordan added 11 points apiece for UCF in a 73-50 loss to No. 25 Florida State on Monday night.
UCF (1-1) shot just 18 of 59 (30.5 percent) from the floor, including 6 of 30 from 3-point range as the Knights opted to shoot long-range jumpers instead of forcing the ball inside against Florida State's deep frontcourt.
''We had to make some shots from the outside,'' UCF coach Donnie Jones said. ''We didn't do a very good job with that. Their length, their athleticism, their size really bothered us inside.
''We had some good looks from the 3-point line,'' he added. ''We're usually not a team that takes 30 3-point shots, but their size and athleticism forced us to take some tough shots.''
UCF struggled to find its offensive rhythm, making just nine shots in each half.
Florida State (2-0) led 29-21 at halftime and quickly extended its lead to 51-32 after a layup by Jeff Peterson with 13:22 left in the game.
Bernard James had 14 of his career-high 18 points in the second half. He also finished with a career-high 11 rebounds.
''From the jump I knew I wanted to come out and be aggressive and just be as physical as possible and see if they hit back,'' The 6-10 James said. ''They did but I kept hitting them. I guess they didn't like it too much.''
Jordan, the son of Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, added 11 points (on 5 of 16 shooting) but had five turnovers in his first game back.
''He's had to go to the point guard spot when he played a lot at the 2 (shooting guard),'' Jones said. ''He knew he needed to score for us tonight to help our team. He had some good looks and he missed him. There are going to be some nights that he makes those kind of shots.''
Gaynor, a forward, also returned from a suspension and came off the bench to score four points. Jones said a third player, center Josh Crittle, will return for Friday's home game against High Point.
Jordan had eight first-half points to keep UCF in the game. But FSU pulled away in the second half by shooting 15 of 25 (60 percent). The Seminoles also outrebounded the Knights 46-31.