In what was arguably the biggest game of the season for the Knights, UCF couldn’t hold its own at the FedEx Forum, losing 93-71 to No. 22 Memphis Wednesday night.
For Memphis (21-3, 10-0 C-USA), their win streak continues with 15. UCF (17-6, 7-2 C-USA) falls three games back in the conference standings.
UCF kept it close in the first half and were down 36-42 at half time. But Memphis blew the game open in the second half, going on a 23-4 run to go up by 27 points with about 7 minutes left.
Memphis had five players score in double digits on the night. Point guard Joe Johnson led the Tigers with 21 points. Geron Johnson almost had a triple-double with 19 points and nine rebounds and eight assists.
Isaiah Sykes led UCF with 17 points and six rebounds. On a rough night, Keith Clanton finished with 10 points and just three rebounds.
Freshman guard had Daiquan Walker hit three of four from three-point range and finished with 14 points.
What killed UCF was sloppy play, hitting just 13 of 25 free throw attempts and committing 18 turnovers that resulted in 30 points for Memphis. The Knights were also sloppy in transition defense and seemed overwhelmed by Memphis’ depth of scoring talent in the second half.
With just seven games remaining, UCF’s goal of winning the C-USA regular season championship seems like a long shot after the loss.
UCF will get another shot at Memphis on March 2 for the final home game of the season. UCF travels to UTEP Saturday for its next game.