Men's Basketball

Second Half Rally Lifts No. 18 UCF Past Men's Basketball, 65-58

Jan. 5, 2011

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Marcus Jordan scored a game-high 26 points to lead the No. 18 UCF Knights past the Marshall University men's basketball team, 65-58, Wednesday night at the UCF Arena.

Jordan scored 18 of his 26 points for UCF (14-0, 1-0 C-USA) in the second half, hitting 9 out of 17 shots.

Johnson led the way for Marshall (10-4, 0-1 C-USA) with 15 points, including a 7-8 effort from the charity stripe. Tirrell Baines notched 14 points while recording eight rebounds, a team high.

"It was a hard-fought game that was played with a lot of emotion," head coach Tom Herrion said. "We played poorly on the offensive end of the floor, our execution was not very good."

"I am proud of our effort, our kids played hard and battled through foul trouble."

Neither team was able to take control early on as the lead changed hands five times in the first half with the lead for each team never going beyond four points. Marcus Jordan scored the first two buckets for the Knights before the Herd roared back as Tirrell Baines notched six of his ten first-half points to give MU a 10-6 advantage six minutes in.

UCF would make a run to take its largest lead of the half at 16-12 when Isaac Sosa hit back-to-back treys. Marshall would rally to take a 28-27 edge with under a minute remaining until an A.J. Rompza free throw tied it up at the break.

Defense was the story to begin the second half as the teams combined to miss their first eight shots while committing a combined three turnovers. Sosa opened the second half scoring with a bucket at the 17:22 mark.

With the game knotted at 33-33, Marshall went on a 7-1 run to take a six-point lead, the largest advantage the Herd would enjoy in the contest. Down 46-42 with under eight minutes left, UCF made a game-changing 10-0 run, a stretch from which the Herd would not recover.

Marshall would cut the deficit to four point with 5:44 remaining, but that is as close as it got the rest of the way with UCF holding on for the victory.

The Herd once again shot well from the charity stripe, hitting 14-of-17 free throws. UCF hit just 16 out of 28. MU was also strong on the glass, outrebounding the Knights, 40-37.

UCF outshot the Herd by a .442-.339 margin. Neither team could find a rhythm from three-point distance. Marshall hit just 2 out of 17 treys while the Knights were 3-16.

Conference USA play continues for the Herd on Saturday as Marshall welcomes Southern Miss to the Cam Henderson Center. Tip is set for 7 p.m. On Monday, Savannah State comes to town. The Herd topped SSU by a 56-47 margin in their meeting in December. That game will have an earlier starting time, tipping at 6 p.m.

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