UCF men’s basketball
The UCF men’s basketball team started off conference play destroying their first two opponents by a combined margin of 37 points to lift their season record to 11-3.
That made for a happy holiday for the Knights, who blasted Temple 77-53 on New Year’s Eve at CFE Arena, thanks to 17 points by UCF’s Matt Williams and Tacko Fall, who continue to lead the team in scoring on one of their best season openers in recent memory.
On the defensive end, Nick Banyard picked up 11 rebounds to lead the team with A.J. Davis not far behind with eight.
The win came after some back-to-back stumbles in mid-December that saw the Knights fall to Penn and George Washington in the same week. Their only other loss this season was 67-57 on Nov. 20 to Villanova, currently ranked No. 1 in the nation.
The early success for the Knights has catapulted them to near the top of the American Athletic Conference in overall record, and in a four-way tie for conference record.
Coming up for the Knights, it’s more conference play, with a trip to UConn (5-8, 0-2) for a 5 p.m. tipoff Sunday, then a return home to host Houston (11-3, 2-0) at 4 p.m. Jan. 14.
UCF women’s basketball
The UCF women’s team is 8-4 overall this season after getting bamboozled 84-48 against the No. 1 UConn Huskies (13-0) on New Year’s Day, when Aliyah Gregory shot 18 points to lead the Knights.
They’ll host Memphis (7-7) at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Rollins men’s basketball
The Tars were in the middle of one of their best starts before they collapsed in three straight games during the holidays, including a 90-70 loss in their season conference debut at No. 10 Barry.
Beginning the week 7-6 overall and 1-3 in the Sunshine State Conference, the Tars hosted Tampa Wednesday night at press time. Coming up at 4 p.m. Saturday they host Palm Beach Atlantic (7-5), which is fresh off a 102-67 loss at the hands of the University of North Florida.
Rollins women’s basketball
The lady Tars blasted out of port with three straight wins to start the season, but have since settled into an embattled 7-4 run after some tough conference games.
They edged Barry in Miami Shores (4-9) on New Year’s weekend, with a 60-51 win led by Tianna Rosser’s career-best 19 points, followed by Marie Gilbert with 14 points and six boards.
Wednesday night the Tars hosted Tampa at press time, and will be back in the Alfond Sports Center again at 2 p.m. Saturday to host Palm Beach Atlantic (5-7) which edged St. Leo in an 86-80 overtime thrill ride Dec. 30.
Winter Park boys’ basketball
The Wildcats have struggled all season to put together strings of wins, but they found one just before Christmas when they edged Flagler Palm Coast and Agape Christian on back-to-back nights. That hoisted their record to 5-8 on the season as they headed to take on Lake Nona Wednesday night at press time.
The Wildcats will be on the road until Jan. 12, when they host district rival Boone at 7:30 p.m.
Winter park girls’ basketball
The lady Wildcats are 10-4 overall after winning three straight before the holiday break, including a 50-44 nail-biter over Kings Park, N.Y., which remained in doubt until the final quarter.
Winter Park faces district rival Lake Nona at 7:30 p.m. tonight. The Lions are 5-6, looking for their second district win. The Wildcats have the same stakes, as they sit at 1-2 in the district so far.
Edgewater boys’ basketball
The Kreul Classic wasn’t kind to the Eagles, who fell in back-to-back losses to bow out of the tournament over the holidays. That dropped their record to 8-4. They travel for the next week, but return to their home court against Auburndale at 7 p.m. Jan. 12.
Edgewater girls’ basketball
A daunting season has found the lady Eagles at 7-11 overall after blasting a winless Lake Region 72-12 on Tuesday night. They host Lake Gibson at 8 p.m. Friday.