BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Isaiah Sykes scored 21 points, posted a double-double and hit two late, key free throws as Central Florida held off Alabama-Birmingham 74-70 Wednesday night in Conference USA action.
The Knights (20-10, 9-6), who beat UAB 64-48 on Jan. 9, faced a tougher foe this time. The Blazers (15-15, 7-8) led by 13 points before leading 36-35 at halftime.
With 2:20 remaining, Alihodzic made the first of two free throws to cut Central Florida's lead to 69-68. Keith Clanton's layup made it 71-68 at the 1:42 mark. After Sykes' two foul shots at 0:17, UCF held on. Sykes finished with 11 rebounds.
Calvin Newell was vital for UCF with 18 points, and Wilson hit four 3-pointers.
Former Kentucky guard Ed Davender, the only Wildcat with at least 1,500 points and 400 assists, has died. He was 49.
Guard Naz Mitrou-Long, whose 2015-16 season ended in December due to hip problems, has been granted a hardship waiver for the coming season, Iowa State said.
As the Sooners look to life without superstar Buddy Hield and his sidekicks, it's clear their unseasoned players will need to grow up fast.
|Texas San Antonio||3-15||13||5-27|