Tristan Spurlock tied a career high with 23 points and Isaiah Sykes shook off early foul trouble to score the game-winning basket in the final minute as the Knights held off the visiting Scarlet Knights in AAC play. Sykes finished with 14 points and seven rebounds and Spurlock added five boards and tied a season high with four steals for Central Florida (11-15, 3-12), which snapped a two-game slide. Kasey Wilson contributed 11 points for the Knights, who won despite shooting 38.9 percent from the field. Myles Mack's 19 points led the offense for Rutgers (10-18, 4-11), which fell for the third straight game and the fifth time in its last six. Junior Etou had 14 points and nine rebounds and Kadeem Jack tallied 12 points to go with a game-high nine boards for the Scarlet Knights, who enjoyed a 41-33 advantage on the glass. After Central Florida trailed by as many as 15 just past the midway point of the second half, Spurlock capped an 11-0 spurt with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 54-50 with 5:23 to go. Mack and Jack answered with a 3-pointer and a lay-in on consecutive possessions for Rutgers, but the Knights continued to chip away at the lead and Sykes' layup with 37 seconds to play pushed Central Florida ahead for good. Rutgers took command of the game early, jumping out to an 8-0 lead and finishing the opening 20 minutes up 35-26, led by nine points on 4-of-4 shooting by Etou. Spurlock had half of Central Florida's first-half points with the rest of the team shooting 6-of-22 from the field as Sykes sat for much of the half after committing two early fouls. GAME NOTEBOOK: Central Florida entered the game third-worst in the nation from the free-throw line at 60.5 percent but knocked down 11 of its last 14 attempts to help seal the win. ... Rutgers fell to 1-7 away from home in AAC play and has lost nine of its last 10 road games overall. ... Knights G Calvin Newell finished with three points - all from the free-throw line - marking his seventh straight game with less than 10 points after beginning the season by scoring 13 or more in Central Florida's first eight games.
Central Florida 67, Rutgers 65
ProSportsDaily | Feb 27