UCF ekes out 53-50 win over Savannah State

The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Tristin Spurlock and Kasey Wilson made four free throws in the final 12.9 seconds to help Central Florida squeeze out a 53-50 win over Savannah State.

Keith Clanton led the Knights (3-0) with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Isaiah Sykes contributed 14 points and five rebounds.

Rashad Hassan led Savannah State (3-2) with 17 points. Cedric Smith added 12 points and Preston Blackman 11 for the Tigers, who led late after trailing by as many as 18 in the second half.

A jump hook by Hassan gave Savannah State a 50-49 lead with 48 seconds left, but the Tigers couldn't get the rebound on a miss by Clanton.

Spurlock got the ball and drew a foul while attempting a jumper from deep in the corner. He made both free throws to put UCF up 51-50 with 12.9 seconds left.

The Tigers worked it inside to Hassan, but he missed a short jumper and Wilson was fouled with 1.6 seconds to go. He made both free throws to seal the win.

Blackman was just short with a half-court attempt to tie the game.

Savannah State went on a 26-6 run in the middle of the second half to wipe out a 36-18 deficit. Blackman's third 3-pointer of the half put the Tigers ahead 44-42 with 4:41 left in the game.

Sykes' three-point play on a driving layup and free throw put UCF back in front 45-44 and started the furious run to the finish.

UCF, which shot 58 percent from the field in its first two games, shot only 32.6 percent (15 of 46) against Savannah State, including 26 percent (5 of 19) in the second half when they nearly blew the 18-point advantage.

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