UCF looks for second win over improving Tulane

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UCF is a couple of baskets away from being on a five-game winning streak.

The Knights (7-11, 5-10 AAC) have gone 3-2 over their past five games, wtih one-point losses to Wichita State and Cincinnati.

Saturday afternoon, UCF will try to replicate the success it had in its three recent victories when it takes on Tulane in New Orleans.

The keys have been sharp shooting and solid defense, as were evident in UCF's 81-65 win over South Florida on Wednesday. C.J. Walker led the Knights with 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks while Darius Perry and Darin Green Jr. each had 14 points.

"Our guys came really prepared and ready to compete. We dug in, got a few extra stops and built a lead and that was exciting to see," UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. "What I really liked was that we were able to sustain it and continue to build that lead. We had a good idea what we wanted to do with our game plan."

The Knights defeated the Green Wave 53-49 in Orlando in their first encounter on Feb. 12 -- a game during which they held Tulane to 31.6 percent (18-for-57) shooting and 23.8 percent (5-for-21) from 3-point range.

UCF also held Tulane to just 19 points in the second half.

Tulane (9-8, 4-8) returns to the court for the first time in six days after beating South Florida last Sunday in Tampa. Jaylen Forbes scored 19 points in that 62-59 victory.

Tulane got strong efforts from forward Kevin Cross, who had 13 points, and Gabe Watson, who finished with 10.

"We are just getting better," Tulane coach Ron Hunter said. "This is the thing we talk about in building this program. We have to be able to fight through these tough times. Our defense is there, and we made some timely baskets which we had not done."

Forbes leads Tulane in scoring (15.5 points per game) and rebounds (5.2 per game) and is shooting a team-best 34.2 percent from 3-point range. Jordan Walker (12.5 points per game) leads in assists (4.1) and steals (1.6) per game.

Perry leads the Knights with 14.4 points and 3.1 assists per game while Brandon Mahan (13.6 points, 5.1 rebounds per game) and Green (11.3 points) round out their top three scorers.

--Field Level Media