Taylor sparks UCF to 73-67 victory over UConn

B.J. Taylor led the way with 21 points Thursday night, but it was UCF's relentless effort that won the day, including a clutch 3-point bucket from Aubrey Dawkins with 1:37 left that resulted in a 73-67 victory over UConn.

Colin Smith added 11 points and reserve Ceasar DeJesus scored 11 as the Knights' bench outscored their counterparts 23-4.

UCF (16-4, 6-2 American Athletic Conference) had a stranglehold on the opponents' basket for most of the game until UConn began heating up. The Huskies nailed 6 of 12 from 3-point range and shot 53 percent from the field in the second half.

Jalen Adams was cooking after the break, anchoring multiple mini-runs for UConn throughout the second half.

The guard scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half for the Huskies (12-9, 3-5). Christian Vital scored 10 points and Josh Carlton contributed 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.

UCF clawed a few critical balls away late, leading to a parade at the free-throw line where they hit 15 more than UConn.

The interior for UCF was instrumental in gaining control of the game. The Knights had a plus-10 scoring advantage inside as both teams grabbed 30 rebounds.

Tacko Fall got things started for the Knights, controlling the opening tip and the early momentum. The big man scored the game's first five points, then blocked Jalen Adams on a baseline jumper on one end and finished off an and-1 on the other. The Huskies responded with a 5-2 run to get within two points, but that was the closest they'd get as the Knights would eventually go on a 14-4 run to push their lead to as many as 15.

Adams struggled mightily for UConn, nearly going scoreless in the first half while committing four turnovers. But with 2:33 left in the half, UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins was called for a technical, gifting Adams with two free throws which he knocked in, getting him on the scoreboard.

Adams then hit a 3-pointer from the right corner before the buzzer to cut the Huskies deficit to 34-22 at halftime.


UConn guard Alterique Gilbert missed his first game of the season after injuring his left shoulder against Wichita State in the teams' previous contest. The Huskies redshirt sophomore is the third leading scorer (13 points) and second on the team in minutes (29.2 per game).


UConn: With the Huskies loss on Thursday night, they fall to 0-4 on the road this season, bringing up some of the same struggles that befell them last season when they finished 2-9 in the opponent's gym.

UCF: The Knights victory marks their 11th overall at home this season and their 10th consecutive. This was UCF's first season sweep of UConn and its fourth straight win in the series.


UConn: The Huskies play ECU at home on Sunday.

UCF: The Knights host No. 13 Houston on Feb. 7.