Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Marcus Jordan posted a game-high 26 points, leading four players in double figures, as the UCF Knights topped the Stetson Hatters, 80-70, in the semifinals of the UCF Holiday Invitational at UCF Arena.
Also having a strong game for the Knights (9-3) was Isaiah Sykes who registered 20 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three assists as the team won for the fifth time in the last six outings. Tristan Spurlock responded with 13 points and six boards off the bench, while Keith Clanton recorded a double-double for the hosts with his 11 points and game-high 12 boards.
The Hatters (4-7) were paced by Adam Pegg who led four starters in double figures with his 17 points, followed by Chris Perez with 15, although the latter made just one of his five attempts behind the three-point line and was 6-of-17 from the floor overall. Aaron Graham and Joel Naburgs responded with 14 and 10 points, respectively, as the visitors suffered a fourth straight setback.
Stetson led by as many as five points early in the first half, but a 7-0 run put the Knights back on top and eventually they were the ones standing tall with a 40-29 advantage at the break. UCF shot 55.2 percent from the floor in the first half and scored a total of 12 points off turnovers.
In the second half the lead reached as high as 18 points for the hosts at the 12:10 mark before UCF settled in for the 10-point victory.
Defensively the Knights held Stetson to just 37.5 percent shooting from the floor on the night and 7-of-23 beyond the arc and that made it a bit easier for the home team to deal with the fact that they made only 15-of-26 attempts at the charity stripe.
These teams now await the result of the James Madison/Rhode Island contest in order to determine the matchups for Friday's games in the tournament.
12/29 22:07:48 ET
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