UCF 64, SMU 56
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—Jermaine Taylor scored 18 points off the bench as Central Florida held off a second-half SMU rally to beat the Mustangs 64-56 Wednesday.
Taylor’s layup with 6:20 remaining gave UCF (13-4, 2-1 Conference USA) a 58-46 lead—its largest of the night. But UCF went cold from the field and a 7-0 run from the Mustangs closed the gap to 58-53 with 3:23 left.
SMU (11-6, 0-3) couldn’t get closer than seven points after a 3-pointer from Mike O’Donnell put the Knights back up by eight with 1:47 remaining.
The loss was SMU’s third straight.
Taylor was the only UCF player in double figures. O’Donnell, Dave Noel and Lavell Payne finished with nine points each. SMU shot 37 percent from the floor. Brian Epps led the Mustangs with 14 points. Derrick Roberts finished with 12 points.
Dave Noel’s 3-point play with 1:35 remaining gave UCF its biggest lead of the first half, 31-22. SMU trailed by seven at halftime despite shooting 35 percent during the first 20 minutes.