Isaiah Sykes typically fills up the box score with points, rebounds, assists and steals, but Thursday evening was a little different. In leading the Knights to an 83-66 victory over Stetson at the UCF Arena, the junior recorded just the third triple-double in UCF history with 16 points, 11 boards and 10 assists. The Detroit native helped make sure the Knights (7-3) never trailed as they registered their 13th-straight win over the Hatters.
Sykes’ triple-double was the first by a Knight since Kingsley Edwards in 2005. He shot 6-of-10 overall and connected on a career-high two 3-pointers in 37 minutes. The modest Sykes had no idea that he joined an elite group at UCF until public address announcer Erik Kohler alerted the crowd of the achievement with two minutes left in the contest.
“It surprised me when they announced that I had a triple-double,” Sykes said. “Coach (Donnie Jones) told me to come out there and be more aggressive, so that is what I tried to do. It feels good, but we need to come out and keep competing for the next game. We can’t focus on things like that.”
Sykes secured the triple-double with a feed to Tristan Spurlock who scored inside with 4:58 to play. The assist was one of 19 for the Knights.
“Isaiah Sykes does the things that we talk about that (make) a complete player. Tonight is a great example. I am really proud of not only him, but with the way that our team shared the ball tonight,” Jones said.
Keith Clanton led UCF with 18 points. Stetson fell to 3-8 with the loss.
The Knights opened the contest with three quick early 3-pointers – two from Kasey Wilson (11 points), who leads the country in 3-point field goal percentage, and one from Calvin Newell (11 points) – to grab a 9-2 edge. UCF led 43-27 at the break and then built its advantage to as many as 24 points in the second half.
The contest with the Hatters concluded a busy stretch for the Knights. UCF was playing its fourth game in nine days.
Chris Perez led Stetson with 20 points.
The Knights will have a break for Christmas before returning to action on Dec. 28 when they host Howard at 7 p.m. The contest is part of the two-day UCF Holiday Tournament.