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UCF smacks short-handed Florida State

Feb 12, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; UCF Knights head coach Johnny Dawkins watches play against the Houston Cougars in the second half at Fertitta Center.  Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayhlon Young scored 17 points and freshman Taylor Hendricks totaled 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead host UCF to a dominant 68-54 win over Florida State on Friday night in Orlando, Fla.

The Knights (1-1) bounced back from an opening night loss to UNC Asheville by beating the Seminoles (0-2) for the second time in the past three seasons.

UCF used a 7-0 run to close out the first half and take a double-digit lead. The Knights led by 10 or more points for the rest of the game and led by as many as 17 points in the second half.

The Knights crushed Florida State on the boards, out rebounding the Seminoles 52-22 overall and 24-7 on the offensive glass, which led to 22 second chance points. FSU had no second chance points.

Hendricks, a four-star recruit from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. continued to be a force, shooting 6 of 13 including 2 for 3 from 3-point range. UCF shot 7 of 15 overall from 3-point range.

Ithiel Horton, a Pitt transfer, totaled 14 points, two rebounds and three assists.

FSU kept itself in the game thanks to its defense which contributed to 20 UCF turnovers. The Seminoles scored 18 points off those giveaways.

But Florida State continued to struggle with injuries and lost another regular in its rotation on Friday.

Center Naheem McLeod was forced to leave the game with 12 minutes left in the first half. McLeod appeared to bang his lower leg with UCF guard C.J. Kelly in the paint.

Florida State had two walk-ons Michael Brown and Isaac Spainhour on the court late in the first half and late in the second half was down to six available scholarship players after Matthew Cleveland and Cameron Corhen both fouled out.

Darin Green Jr. led FSU with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting while Cam’Ron Fletcher finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Corhen added 12 points.

–Field Level Media