UCF Uses Balanced Scoring to Top Tulane

Jermaine Taylor (UCF Athletics)

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Junior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) totaled a game-high 19 points, and five Knights finished with double-figures in scoring as the UCF men's basketball team posted an 80-63 win over Tulane on Wednesday at the new UCF Arena. The Knights (15-12, 8-5 Conference USA) shot 24-of-28 (85.7 percent) from the free-throw line in the victory.

The Green Wave (15-12, 5-8) dropped their sixth-straight contest.

Taylor came off of the bench for the first time this season as the Knights' reserves accounted for 45 of the team's points. In just 16 minutes off of the bench, senior guard Mike Battle (Waldorf, Md./Southern Maryland Christian) hit four 3-pointers and finished with a career-best 15 points.

"I was proud of our guys defensively and really proud of how we knocked down free throws," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "That is a very good Tulane team. We gave a good effort and played hard against a really good ballclub."

Holding a slim 20-17 lead midway through the first half, UCF went on a nine-point run, capped off by a trey by senior guard Dave Noel (Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach) with 6:55 remaining, to jump out to a 29-17 cushion. The Knights eventually built their lead to 18 points before reaching halftime ahead, 44-33.

UCF never let Tulane trim its deficit to less than nine points in the final frame as the Knights held on for the 17-point win.

Senior center Stanley Billings (Orlando, Fla.) totaled 12 points and five boards in the winning effort. Noel (11 points) and senior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo), who posted 10 points, also had double-digit scoring efforts for the hosts.

The Knights finished with a 34-21 edge on the glass. UCF shot 47.1 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent from 3-point range. After intermission, UCF made 20-of-22 (90.9 percent) of its free-throw attempts.

Kevin Sims paced the Green Wave with 18 points, while David Gomez had 12 points and Robinson Louisme added 11 points in the loss.

Tulane shot 43.2 percent overall and 28.6 percent from deep.

The Knights have three regular-season contests remaining.

UCF will host Rice for its home finale on Saturday. Tip-off for the contest is set for 7 p.m. Prior to the game, UCF will honor its five seniors.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel, log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out www.ucfphotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

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