Powered by double-double from coach's son, UCF tops Rider to begin season
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — B.J. Taylor scored 22 points and Aubrey Dawkins, the son of UCF coach Johnny Dawkins, added 16 points and 10 rebounds in his Knights debut in an 84-70 victory over Rider in a season opener Tuesday night.
Collin Smith, a transfer from George Washington, also picked up a double-double in his UCF debut with 14 points and 13 rebounds as the Knights gave their coach his 200th collegiate victory. Taylor notched the 21st 20-point game of his career.
Aubrey Dawkins played his first regular-season game in three seasons. He sat out a season after transferring from Michigan to join his father at UCF then suffered a season-ending injury before last year's opener.
UCF, the American Athletic Conference preseason favorite who collected 15 votes in the opening Associated Press poll, took its first lead on Dawkins' basket as part of an 11-0 run to end the first half.
The Knights opened the second half on a 22-7 run to take its largest lead of 24 points at 65-41 with 11 minutes remaining.
Rider, the defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season champ and this year's favorite with all five starters returning, was led by Dimencio Vaughn with 14 points.