But the young Knights upset bid was thwarted though when the Huskies’ Stanley Robinson, an All-America candidate, took over the game and lifted UConn to a 60-51 victory. Robinson scored 23 of his 26 points in the second half. He gave UConn the lead for good at the 9:33 mark with a slam dunk on a fastbreak. The basket sparked a 13-3 UConn run.
“Their All-American players stepped up,” Head Coach Kirk Speraw said. “There is a reason why they are All-Americans.”
UCF forced 13 turnovers in the opening half, and got eight points during the period from junior forward A.J. Tyler (Palm Harbor, Fla.) and seven from freshman guard Marcus Jordan (Highland Park, Ill.) to take a 25-20 lead into the break.
Jordan finished with a team-high 13 points. Tyler added 12 points for the Knights. Redshirt freshman Dave Diakite (Washington D.C.) grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. Six of his boards were offensive as UCF finished with a 36-34 edge on the glass against a taller, more experienced team.
“This is a good effort by our guys,” Speraw said. “They competed hard and we can take some positives from this, even though we don’t like the outcome.”
After its strong first-half performance, the Knights increased their advantage to nine points a minute into the second half after baskets from freshman forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) and sophomore guard Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico). Clanton and Sosa both scored seven points.