EditorsNote: Clarifies foul total in lead
Corey Davis Jr. scored 26 points to lead No. 12 Houston to a 77-68 victory over UCF on Thursday night in Orlando, Fla., despite the Cougars getting whistled for 23 fouls.
The Cougars (22-1, 9-1 American Athletic Conference) won their seventh consecutive game. UCF (16-5, 6-3) had its 10-game home winning streak snapped.
The Cougars smothered the Knights’ offense for much of the game and paid for it in fouls, but UCF finished just 14 of 27 from the free-throw line while committing 23 fouls of its own.
UCF, taking advantage of missed foul shots by the Cougars down the stretch, outscored Houston 27-16 over the final 7:10. However, Houston’s 20-point lead — its largest of the game — was too much to overcome.
The Cougars’ backcourt of Davis and Armoni Brooks (14 points) outscored UCF’s leading scorers, guards BJ Taylor (21 points) and Aubrey Dawkins (13). Taylor scored 16 in the second half.
Galen Robinson added 12 points for Houston.
Dawkins shot just 5 of 15 and didn’t hit his first 3-pointer until the 11:07 mark of the second half.
UCF’s 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall had 13 points and six rebounds.
The Cougars took a 40-25 lead into halftime on the strength of a 23-8 run over the final 10 1/2 minutes of the half.
After UCF’s Frank Bertz hit consecutive 3-pointers to tie the game at 17, the Cougars held the Knights to just two field goals the rest of the half.
Davis led all scorers with 13 first-half points.
Fall played just seven minutes before the break after picking up his second foul just three minutes into the game.
UCF, which came into the game 335th in the country in free-throw shooting, shot just 8 of 17 from the line in the half. The Cougars made 9 of 10, with Davis going 5 of 5, and they wound up 20 of 28. Davis finished 9 of 12 on free throws.
The Cougars return home to play No. 25 Cincinnati on Sunday while UCF hits the road for a game at SMU on Sunday.
—Field Level Media