War Eagle Extra

UCF stops Auburn's in Daytona tournament

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kirk Speraw wasn’t overly impressed about the history his team made. The Central Florida coach was just happy about another victory.

A.J Tyler had 19 points and eight rebounds as UCF defeated Auburn 84-74 at the Glenn Wilkes Classic on Friday night.

The Knights entered the game 0-27 all-time against SEC teams.

“I was just proud of our guys,” said Speraw, in his 17th year at UCF. “The effort that they had, especially early. A good win for this team. History, I don’t know. I’m just worried about this team.”

Taylor Young and Dave Diakite had eight first-half points apiece for the Knights (3-0), who opened the game with a 13-0 run en route to a 41-24 lead at intermission. Each finished with 12 points.

Auburn (1-2) got 22 points from Frankie Sullivan and DeWayne Reed added 15.

The Knights held Auburn scoreless until Reed hit a 3-pointer 7 minutes into the game. The Tigers pulled within 21-17 later in the first half on Sullivan’s jumper.

But UCF put together another spurt, including a nifty lay-up basket by Young, to outscore the Tigers 15-3 and go ahead 36-20.

“We had to come out and play strong,” Knights guard A.J. Rompza said. “Especially against a SEC team, Auburn. They’re one of the better teams in their conference.”

Three minutes into the second half, Tyler made a 3-pointer, extending the UCF advantage to 49-29.

“I wanted to come out and establish myself,” Tyler said. “It worked out for our team.”

Again, the Tigers fought back by putting together an 11-0 run, which featured consecutive steals and slam dunks by Reed and Lucas Hargrove, to make it 49-40.

Keith Clanton’s 3-point play and a basket by Diakite gave UCF a 58-47 margin, and Diakite’s slam put them up 66-49 with 9 minutes to go.

“When they kept making runs at us, I think we had a pretty decent response,” Speraw said.

Andre Malone had a 3 and Sullivan followed with a 3-point play that cut the Auburn deficit to 76-69 with 1:10 to play, but UCF preserved the win by hitting 8 of 8 free throws during the final minute.

“We knew they were going to come with a lot of pressure,” Tyler said. “We just had to be composed. I think we were able to do that.”

AUBURN (1-2)

Hargrove 5-13 0-0 12, Knox 0-2 0-0 0, Reed 6-14 1-4 15, Sullivan 5-13 10-10 22, Ross 3-11 0-0 9, Malone 3-7 0-0 7, Armstrong 1-2 0-0 2, Williams Jr. 1-4 0-2 3, Wallace 0-0 0-0 0, Neysmith 0-0 0-0 0, Lett 2-2 0-1 4, Chubb 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-68 11-17 74.

UCF (3-0)

Diakite 4-6 4-6 12, Gaynor 2-4 2-4 6, Tyler 6-10 6-7 19, Rompza 1-6 9-11 11, Sosa 2-6 2-2 7, Scott 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan 2-2 2-2 7, Young 4-8 4-5 12, Kusmieruk 0-1 0-0 0, Garcia 0-0 0-0 0, Clanton 4-5 2-3 10. Totals 25-48 31-40 84.

Halftime—UCF 41-24. 3-Point Goals—Auburn 11-39 (Ross 3-8, Reed 2-6, Sullivan 2-8, Hargrove 2-9, Malone 1-4, Williams Jr. 1-4), UCF 3-9 (Jordan 1-1, Tyler 1-2, Sosa 1-3, Young 0-1, Rompza 0-2). Fouled Out—Lett, Reed, Sullivan. Rebounds—Auburn 32 (Ross, Sullivan 6), UCF 38 (Diakite 10). Assists—Auburn 15 (Reed 5), UCF 16 (Rompza, Young 5). Total Fouls—Auburn 31, UCF 17. Technicals—Reed, Sosa, UCF Bench. A—NA. ch. A—NA.

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