UCF vs Massachusetts

UCF aces UMass test in first game as ranked team

CBSSports.com wire reports
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AMHERST, Mass. -- Marcus Jordan begged Central Florida coach Donnie Jones at halftime to let him play despite a sprained ankle that had kept him out of practice all week.

Was Jones really supposed to say no?

Jordan, son of Michael Jordan, hit five of six foul shots in the final minute to help No. 24 UCF remain unbeaten and hold off Massachusetts 64-59 Wednesday night in the Knights' debut as a nationally ranked team.

"I couldn't take sitting on the bench and just watching the game. I was fighting to get in the first half but he [Jones] wanted to really watch me warm up at halftime," said Jordan, who finished with seven points and three assists in 15 minutes.

"I really wasn't looking to score. I was just trying to get into the paint and create open shots for my teammates. Playing with this ankle, it's hard to jump, it's hard to do anything, really. I was just really trying to come in and make an impact."

Keith Clanton had 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks and Isaac Sosa scored 14 as he started for Jordan, who hadn't practiced since injuring his ankle Saturday in a win over Miami.

The Knights (11-0) were a little out of synch without their sophomore leader, but not enough to get rattled. UCF looked more like a Top 25 veteran than newcomer, especially while holding off the Minutemen (7-4) down the stretch on their home court.

"These guys stayed focused," Jones said. "It's been a unique group. They've found a way to deal with a lot of things."

UCF won despite committing 20 turnovers and getting outrebounded 41-40.

The Minutemen, who lost their fourth straight, had two chances in the final minutes after turnovers by UCF, but rushed two 3-pointers that could have tied it instead of trying for an easier shot to get within one with plenty of time left.

"It's a frustrating loss. We didn't convert down the stretch," said Anthony Gurley, who led Massachusetts with 17 points. "This was a very winnable game for us."

Gurley was the only UMass player to score in double figures.

The Minutemen finished just 2 for 22 on 3-pointers, but never stopped trying from beyond the arc.

Raphiael Putney had a good look with about a minute left, but it bounced off the rim and Putney had to foul Jordan at the other end. Jordan made both free throws for a 59-54 lead with 38.6 seconds left. By the time Gurley hit a 3-pointer with 16 seconds to play -- the Minutemen's first in the second half -- all the Knights had to do was hit free throws to seal it.

A.J. Rompza hit two to make it 62-57, then Putney missed a dunk and the rebound bounced out of bounds near midcourt as Rompza clapped and shouted "Game over!" with 9 seconds still on the clock.

The Minutemen were just 1 for 13 on 3-pointers in the second half.

Gurley gave the Minutemen a 41-40 lead with about 12:50 to play, then 15 seconds later Jordan leaped high in the lane and hit a 3-foot floater to put the Knights back up and start a 6-0 run. Gurley made two free throws to end a short drought for Massachusetts, but Sosa answered with a 3-pointer and UCF was back up 48-42.

Massachusetts went without a field goal for more than 6 minutes, but was able to keep the cold-shooting Knights from pulling away.

"We're going through a tough stretch right now," Gurley said. "We had had spurts where we played very well defensively. It's just a process. We've got to put it all together next time."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
Bad-ankle Marcus Jordan begs his way into the game and helps UCF avoid a letdown in its first game since cracking the Top 25. (AP)
Bad-ankle Marcus Jordan begs his way into the game and helps UCF avoid a letdown in its first game since cracking the Top 25. (AP)
Scoreboard
UCF #24 (11-0) «263864
Massachusetts (7-4)243559
UCF:I. Sosa 14 Pts
UCF:T. Herzog 8 Reb
UCF:A. Rompza 3 Ast
MA:A. Gurley 17 Pts
MA:S. Carter 7 Reb
MA:D. Traynham 5 Ast

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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
UCFMassachusetts
UCF
Keith Clanton
MA
Anthony Gurley
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
13821731
UCF Knights
K. Clanton, F395-132-282013
A. Rompza, G291-65-61337
M. Jordan, G151-45-62017
D. McCombs, F141-22-25014
D. Diakite, F40-12-40002
I. Sosa, G405-100-041214
T. Herzog, C222-52-28036
I. Sykes, G-F193-41-36127
J. Davis, G91-22-42214
P. Gaynor, F60-20-02010
T. Young, G30-00-00020
A. Tyler, FDid Not Play
J. Jordan, GDid Not Play
J. Crittle, FDid Not Play
A. Thompson, GDid Not Play
D. Kuzucan, GDid Not Play
T. Spurlock, FDid Not Play
Totals 19-4921-293991664
 38.8%72.4% 
Massachusetts Minutemen
A. Gurley, G336-193-431317
S. Carter, F243-72-27018
F. Riley, G232-90-03014
T. Vinson, F184-70-03048
G. Correia, GDid Not Play
J. Farrell, G-F240-62-21342
S. Carter, F-C221-21-26023
D. Traynham, G181-53-45535
R. Putney, F173-72-25148
H. Bailey, F-C151-21-26123
J. Morgan, G40-21-21001
M. Hill, F20-00-00000
T. Lang, FDid Not Play
C. Williams, GDid Not Play
M. Esho, FDid Not Play
J. Couture, GDid Not Play
A. McCarthy, CDid Not Play
Totals 21-6615-2040112159
 31.8%75.0% 
American Athletic
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
SMU17-130-513
Cincinnati16-230-612
Houston12-621-1154
UCF11-724-1269
Memphis9-919-13121
UConn9-916-17119
Tulsa8-1015-17132
Temple7-1116-16135
E. Carolina6-1215-18214
Tulane3-156-25298
So. Florida1-177-23316

Atlantic 10
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Dayton15-324-830
VCU14-426-922
Rhode Island13-525-1031
Richmond13-522-1380
St. Bona.11-720-1291
Geo. Wash.10-820-15102
George Mason9-920-14103
La Salle9-915-15137
Davidson8-1017-1589
Fordham7-1113-19215
Saint Louis6-1212-21238
UMass4-1415-18193
Saint Josephs4-1411-20201
Duquesne3-1510-22266
 
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