The UCF Knights men’s basketball team won big Wednesday night, defeating the Jacksonville Dolphins, 94-52.
After the game, even head coach Johnny Dawkins seemed shocked that his team won by over 40 points.
“Think it’s probably the fastest start we’ve gotten off to in a game this season,” Dawkins said.
This was a game where a lot went right for the Knights. But what aspects of the game played the biggest role in this blowout win? Let’s go over them now.
A lot of Knights had strong individual performances tonight. Omar Payne had nine rebounds. Marcellus Avery scored 12 points while going three-for-four from three-point range. Jaylin Sellers scored 16 points. But despite all of that, one particular player stood above the rest and that was Thierno Sylla.
Sylla scored a double-double tonight and led the Knights in both points (20) and rebounds (11). He went seven-for-eleven from the floor. His performance was the backbone of the Knights’ strong offensive performance.
After the game, Sylla said tonight’s performance showed the improvements he’s made to his game.
“I got a lot better on the offensive and defensive end,” Sylla said. “I didn’t use to rebound the ball like that. So I got better defensively, for sure!”
The Knights’ defense was a problem for Jacksonville all game. Jacksonville, who never led once in the game, went 20-for-66 (30.3%) from the floor and 4-for-20 (20%) from three-point range.
Something that shows how dominant the Knights’ defense was in the game is how long it took for Jacksonville to score its first basket. Not counting a pair of free throws that one of their players made earlier, Jackonville’s first basket came with 11:30 left in the first half. The Knights went over nine minutes without giving up a basket.
After the game, Payne said that they were able to force all those misses due to them sticking to the play-style they were taught.
“It was just, ‘Be aggressive,’” Payne said. “We were watching the film, and you see they didn’t box out, so Coach was telling us to execute.”
The Knights will be back home this Sunday, where they will have a much tougher opponent waiting for them. They will take on the undefeated Ole Miss Rebels, with tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m.