UCF 77, East Carolina 64
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—Josh Peppers scored 25 points to lead Central Florida to a 77-64 victory over East Carolina on Saturday.
East Carolina (6-23, 1-15 Conference USA) made a couple of runs in the second half, but both were stopped by UCF (22-8, 11-5).
East Carolina closed to within 46-40 on a pair of free throws by John Fields with 15:12 remaining, but UCF extended its advantage to 14 on a basket from Jermaine Taylor and a pair of 3-pointers from Mike O’Donnell.
Gabe Blair’s rebound basket put East Carolina within 56-50, but UCF went on a 10-0 run to push its lead to 16 with 5:05 remaining.
Lavell Payne scored 17 points and O’Donnell added 15.
Cory Farmer scored 21 points for East Carolina. Darrell Jenkins had 14 points and Gabe Blair scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
UCF took a 41-29 halftime lead behind Peppers 21 first-half points. Peppers made all seven of his field-goal attempts.
UCF raced to a 22-10 lead in the first 6:21 of the half but then went cold and allowed East Carolina to stay within striking distance.