The War on I-4 got off to a slow start as both teams tried to find their offense and it did not take long for the Knights to find a groove and take off as they started 6-10 from the floor getting production from their two star players B.J. Taylor and A.J. Davis who together combined for 15 of the Knights 22 and with 9:14 remaining in the first half the Knights had a 25-14 lead. But the Bulls came storming back going on a 10-0 run to cut the Knights lead to just 1 with 4 minutes to play in the half, a timeout by Knights coach Johnny Dawkins would slow that run down and the Knights would increase their lead to 6 heading into halftime 33-27.
B.J. Taylor and A.J. Davis both ended the first half with 10 points, Dayon Griffin added in 9 points all from three-point land for the Knights. USF was led by guard David Collins who finished the first half with 13 points
As the second half got underway the pace of the game stayed steady as neither team was able to get out and run. The Knights, a team that usually likes to get baskets off of fast break points was held to just 4 on Wednesday night which allowed USF to stick with the Knights not falling behind by more than 7 until the 10-minute mark of the second half.
After that however the Knights would not let up as they would increase their lead to 14 with 5:40 remaining in the half and they would not look back and UCF would close the door on the Bulls to come away with a 72-57 win.
Head coach Johnny Dawkins was pleased with the way his team competed against their rivals “When you’re playing your rivals it’s a hard-fought game, you know they play with a winning effort every time they step on the floor they played with a winning effort tonight I thought our guys were just a little bit better in some areas.”
UCF will look for their 17th win of the season against SMU on Saturday, while USF will square off against Tulsa on Sunday.