Central Florida will be heading for its longest winning streak of the season when there is a season sweep of Tulsa in American Athletic Conference action on Tuesday night in Orlando.
The Knights (8-11, 6-10 AAC) have won their last two games but haven’t played since Tulane 84-81 in New Orleans on February 20th. The scheduled meetings with SMU and Temple last week were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns in opponents’ programs.
The Golden Hurricane (10-10, 7-8) were also inactive last weekend when their game against East Carolina was scrapped for similar reasons. They lost between 70 and 69 to Cincinnati last Wednesday when a late turnover gave the visiting Bearcats the opportunity to form a winning basket 12.6 seconds before the end of the game.
“That’s a tough question,” said Tulsa coach Frank Haith. “We had some costly sales, obviously the ones at the end. It was unfortunate.”
The setback was the fourth in their last five games for the Golden Hurricane, including a 65:58 home loss to the Knights on February 6. The Knights were 13 out of 28 from a distance in this one with Darius Perry (18 points) and Brandon Mahan (15) scoring 10 out of 17 3-point attempts.
“We didn’t defend the 3-point line very well,” said Haith.
The Knights had lost five of their last seven games before beating South Florida (81-65) and Tulane. Freshman Isaiah Adams hit a season high of 26 points and Perry added 20 against the Green Wave.
However, the Knights had 16 turnovers after completing only 19 of their last two games together as far as coach Johnny Dawkins was concerned.
“We want to value possessions,” said Dawkins. “We’ve been teaching that all week. A big part of it is getting chemistry and continuity together.”
This week’s Golden Hurricane added a non-conference game against the northeastern state of Oklahoma on Thursday, before ending the regular season at SMU on Sunday. The Knights end in East Carolina on Thursday.
“It’s been a strange season, probably the most challenging for any coach in the country,” said Dawkins. “But it seems like it flew by because it is. You haven’t played as many games as you normally would.”
– Field level media