ORLANDO, Fla. -- Marcus Jordan scored 19 points and A.J. Rompza added 11 to lead Central Florida to a 60-53 win over Tulane on Wednesday night in the Conference USA opener for both schools.
Keith Clanton scored eight points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Knights (11-3). UCF played without coach Donnie Jones on the sideline, who sat out the first of three conference games as part of a school-imposed penalty for his involvement in an NCAA investigation that revealed recruiting violations.Jordan Callahan had 18 points and seven rebounds for Tulane (12-3). Kendall Timmons added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Green Wave.Rompza hit all three of his 3-point attempts in the game, but it was Jordan who was a steady hand for the Knights throughout, hitting 7 of 15 shots from the field and all four of his free throw attempts.UCF dominated the paint in the first half, outrebounding the Green Wave 28-16, but the Knights had little to show for it. Jordan scored 11 points and the Knights led by 14 after Rompza's first 3-pointer made it 27-13 with 6:49 left in the half.However, UCF scored only two points the rest of the half and Tulane whittled the deficit to eight, 29-21, by halftime and got within 31-25 on Ricky Tarrant's fast-break layup with 17:52 left in the game.Rompza responded with another 3-pointer to ignite a 13-2 UCF run that gave the Knights enough of a cushion to coast to the victory.