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Central Florida pulls away to beat struggling Michigan

Sportsnaut
Feb 14, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; UCF Knights head coach Johnny Dawkins works the sideline against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the first half at Fifth Third Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; UCF Knights head coach Johnny Dawkins works the sideline against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the first half at Fifth Third Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Darin Green scored 27 points to lead Central Florida to an 85-71 win over Michigan on Thursday in Orlando.

Brandon Mahan added 26 points, 22 of which came in the second half, for Central Florida (9-2), which overcame a 12-point deficit in the second half.

Central Florida shot 18 of 25 from the field in the second half and finished shooting 51.8 percent from the field for the game (29 of 56), including 60 percent from 3-point range (12 of 20).

Eli Brooks scored 18 points, DeVante Jones had 17 points, Moussa Diabe scored 13 points and Hunter Dickinson added 12 points in defeat for Michigan (7-5), which lost for the second time in three games.

The Wolverines shot 39.7 percent from the field overall and 40.7 percent from 3-point range

Michigan appeared in good shape early in the second half, taking a 44-32 lead with 17:34 remaining following a layup by Brooks.

From there, Central Florida took over.

The Knights went on a 13-2 run to take 50-49 lead with 13:12 remaining after a dunk by C.J. Walker, and then grabbed a 55-51 lead with 11:46 left after a 3-pointer by Green.

Michigan shaved Central Florida’s lead to 64-62 with 7:26 remaining after a 3-pointer by Brooks, but Central Florida went on an 8-1 run to take a 72-63 lead with 3:33 left.

The Wolverines closed to within six at 75-69 with 2:21 after another 3-pointer by Brooks, but that was as close as Michigan would get the rest of the way.

Central Florida went on an 8-2 run to take an 83-71 lead with 38 seconds left to put the game away.

Michigan held a 23-17 lead with 9:20 remaining in the first half and then went up 33-26 with 2:06 left until halftime before Central Florida cut Michigan’s lead to 35-31 at halftime.

–Field Level Media