UCF 63, Tulsa 53
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—Lavell Payne scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to help Central Florida hold off a furious second-half Tulsa rally and win 63-53 on Saturday.
UCF (16-6, 5-3 Conference USA) blew an 11-point second-half lead but avoided its second straight home loss by outscoring Tulsa 7-1 down the stretch. Josh Pepper’s conventional three-point play doubled the Golden Knights’ lead to six with 2:58 remaining, propelling UCF to victory.
UCF went without a field goal for 9:59 during the second half, but never lost the lead. Jermaine Taylor and Dave Noel had 11 points each for the Golden Knights.
Charles Ramsdell led the Golden Hurricane (14-7, 4-4) with 14 points. Ray Reese had 13 points and six rebounds for Tulsa, which shot only 30 percent from the floor.
UCF led by as many as six through the first 10 minutes, but Tulsa cut its deficit to 18-17 on a pair of free throws by Darold Crow with 10:16 remaining in the first half.
The Golden Hurricane, however, went scoreless over the next five minutes, allowing the Golden Knights to extend their lead to 30-17. Tulsa went without a field goal for almost 10 minutes, but managed to trim the UCF lead to 32-24 at halftime.
The Golden Hurricane shot 28 percent from the floor in the first half, while UCF hit 56 percent.