The Knights kept it competitive late, but in the end, they just couldn’t pass the Hurricanes on the scoreboard.
Let’s look at the three takeaways from this game.
The Starters Finished
The Knights just couldn’t stop the Hurricanes offense. More specifically, they couldn’t stop the Hurricanes’ starters.
The Hurricanes’ starting lineup was just too much for the Knights. All five Canes starters — Woogah Poplar, Norchad Omier, Matthew Cleveland, Bensley Joseph and Nijel Pack — scored double-digit points.
The Hurricanes didn’t need to rely on their bench, who only scored a coming five points.
When you let all five starters drop double digits on you, you are not going to have a good night. And the Knights learned that in this game.
While the Knights’ total field goal percentage of 41.1% wasn’t bad, they shot 25% from three-point range.
The thing that was the most concerning was the fact that the players were missing a lot of free throws. The team’s combined free throw percentage was 63.6 percent.
Jaylin Sellers was the Knights’ top scorer, dropping 22 points, and even he struggled shooting the ball. He went 9/21 from field goal range and 0/7 from three-point range.
Throughout the game, the Knights had multiple chances to get back in the game, even getting within 6 with 6:11 left. But the lack of key baskets prevented them from pulling ahead.
Despite the loss, there were some things from this game that Knight fans should be happy about.
As mentioned earlier, Jaylin Sellers dropped his second 20+ point game of the season. The Knights out-rebounded Miami, grabbing 38 boards compared to the Hurricanes’ 34. Freshman Nils Machowski had a great performance coming off the bench, scoring 13 points while going five-for-seven from field goal range and three-for-three from three-point range.
But the biggest thing of all is the fact that for the majority of the game this team, while missing several key players including C.J. Walker, UCF kept it competitive with a ranked Hurricanes team who made a Final Four appearance the previous season. Against a superior opponent, the team showed heart tonight.
The Knights will be back at AdditionFinancial Arena on Thursday, November, 16th to take on the Cal State Fullerton Titans. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m.