ORLANDO, Fla. – Jontae Sherrod scored 21 points and had nine rebounds as East Carolina handed Central Florida its third straight defeat, beating the Knights 74-62 on Wednesday night.
Erin Straughn hit four 3-pointers and scored 12 points for the Pirates (10-8, 2-2 Conference USA).
Isaac Sosa led the Knights (14-3, 1-3) with 16 points, Keith Clanton contributed 12 and Marcus Jordan 11.
Straughn drilled his fourth 3-pointer to cap a 16-4 run that gave East Carolina a 62-45 lead with 10:47 left. The Pirates scored only one point over the next 7:30 of the game, but UCF couldn't take advantage.
The Knights missed several shots in the lane and four of six free throw attempts during the same stretch. They outscored East Carolina 10-1, cutting the deficit to 63-55 on Taylor Young's 3-pointer with 3:46 to play, but that was as close as UCF would get.
Darrius Morrow, who finished with 14 points, stopped the drought with a layup at the 3:17 mark and East Carolina converted eight of 12 free throws the rest of the way to hold on for the win.
East Carolina led 25-14 after hitting its first six 3-point attempts, including three by Straughn. The Pirates turned their attack inside and built the lead to 41-26 on Morrow's layup with 2:17 left in the half.
UCF scored the final 10 points of the half, including a 3-pointer by A.J. Rompza at the buzzer that cut the deficit to 41-36, but the Knights couldn't maintain the momentum in the second half.