Southern Miss Falls at UCF, 73-61

Craig Craft scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half.

Craig Craft scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half.

Jan. 21, 2009

Box Score

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Jermaine Taylor scored 19 of his 31 points in the second half, as Southern Miss fell to UCF, 73-61, Wednesday night at UCF Arena.

UCF led by as many as 20 in the second half. In the beginning of the half, the Knights took a 44-28 lead on an A.J. Rompza three-pointer. Southern Miss twice pulled to within ten points on a Craig Craft three-pointer. But Taylor scored 10 consecutive points the last of which put the Knights ahead, 54-40.

A three and a lay-up by Jeremy Wise followed by an Andre Stephens lay-up pulled Southern Miss within 54-47. But the Eagles would get no closer, as UCF pulled away.

Southern Miss began the game with an early 5-4 lead before the Knights went on an 8-3 run, capped by a Jermaine Taylor three-pointer. But, Southern Miss scored the next six to tie the game at 13 with 12:46 to play in the half.

However, Taylor hit the first of three straight UCF three-pointers, leading the Knights on a 15-5 run over the next seven minutes to take a 28-18 lead with 6:53 remaining.

The Golden Eagles pulled within six on three different occasions, the last on a Courtney Beasley jumper that pulled Southern Miss to within 32-26 with 3:32 to play. But UCF scored the final five points, the last three on a Chris Baez three-pointer that gave the Knights five treys for the half, as UCF went into the break with a 37-26 advantage.

Craft led Southern Miss with 20 points, including 18 in the second half. Courtney Beasley scored 19 points and pulled down a game-high six rebounds, and Jeremy Wise added 13 points and seven assists.

The Golden Eagles return to action this Saturday, Jan. 24, when they face their final non-conference competition, hosting Montana State. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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