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Jeff Eisenberg

Antonio Barton's game-winning 3-pointer extends UCF's misery

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

At some point Central Florida is probably going to win another game this season, but Memphis' Antonio Barton made sure it won't come at the expense of the Tigers.

Memphis trailed UCF by two points in the final seconds of Wednesday night's game when Barton freed himself with a couple of baseline screens, caught a pass from his brother in the right corner and hoisted up the potential game winner. It rattled home with 2.6 seconds remaining in the game, enabling Memphis to escape with a 63-62 victory and sending UCF to its eighth straight defeat.

"It's probably one of the toughest considering we were in a losing streak," junior guard Isaac Sosa told the Orlando Sentinel. "We were hoping that with the way that we were playing that we were going to win."

That UCF now resides behind Tulane in last place in Conference USA is staggering considering the way the Knights started the season. Once 14-0 with victories over SEC favorite Florida, Miami and Princeton under its belt, UCF has somehow since lost eight straight games including home setbacks against the likes of East Carolina and Rice.

The victory for Memphis (18-6, 6-3) kept the Tigers just a half game out of first place in Conference USA behind UTEP, Southern Miss and Alabama-Birmingham. The lightly recruited Barton added to his reputation as a clutch shooter, sinking the game-winning 3-pointer less than a week after hitting the go-ahead shot in the final minute of Memphis' critical victory at Gonzaga.

"Like coach (Josh Pastner) said, it doesn't matter how we get it done. Just get it done, and we gutted it out again," Barton told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "We're keeping the streak alive."

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