UCF beats Rhode Island 65-54 for tournament title

The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Isaiah Sykes scored 14 points as Central Florida held off Rhode Island for a 65-54 victory on Friday night.

The visiting Rams (2-12) closed to 57-51 on a Billy Baron 3-pointer with 4:01 remaining, but couldn't capitalize on three opportunities to make it a one-possession game.

Keith Clanton (13 points) drained a 3-pointer and Sykes scored five straight points to help the Knights (10-3) pull away for the UCF Holiday Classic title.

Marcus Jordan added 12 points for UCF, which won its 19th straight non-league home game.

UCF pulled away from a 20-all tie in the first half for a 29-22 lead on Josh Crittle's layup with 1:10 remaining. The Knights led 31-25 at halftime behind nine points from Tristan Sperlock and five each from Clanton and Sykes.

Mike Powell had 21 points for Rhode Island.

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