ORLANDO, Fla. – Newcomers Mike Lewis and Terrance Beasley scored in double-figures, but UCF’s Marcus Jordan scored 28 points as the University of Central Florida downed the University of West Florida, 115-61, Friday night at UCF Arena. The game was the 2010-11 season-opener for both teams.
Jordan, son of NBA legend Michael Jordan, was 8-11 from the floor and 7-8 from the free throw line to lead all scorers. The Knights (1-0), members of NCAA Division I and Conference USA, shot 66.7% for the game and 41.7% from three-point range. Keith Clanton made all nine of his field goal attempts and added 24 points for UCF.
Lewis led all Argonauts (0-1) with 15 points, including five three-point baskets. Beasley added ten points and seven rebounds in just 16 minutes of work. Marquis Mathis chipped in nine points for UWF, which shot just 35.8% on the night.
Turnovers were an issue for Bob Stinnett’s club, as they handed the ball over 23 times. The Argonauts did hand out ten assists, including four from newcomer Anthony Sims. UWF was outrebounded, 45-30.
Jordan and Clanton each nailed three-balls in the first two minutes of the game as UCF sprinted out to a 9-0 lead. Lewis scored the first of his five long-range bombs at the 17:41 mark, getting UWF on the board at 9-3.
Another 7-0 run followed for the Knights, capped by another Jordan three-pointer and a Clanton free throw to make the score 16-3 with 16:17 left in the half.
Later, the Knights pushed the lead to the 20-point plateau when Keith Young’s lay-in made the tally 30-9 with 9:58 left.
A Clanton fastbreak basket gave the Knights a 46-14 bulge, but UWF responded with one of their better moments of the half. A long-range trey from Lewis and a jumper from Mathis by way of a Sims helper gave the Argos five unanswered points and cut the gap to 46-19 with 3:54 remaining.
On the final possession of the half, Lewis dialed long distance yet again right before the buzzer, making the score 56-27 at the break. The Eastern Kentucky transfer scored nine points in the half.
After a UCF fastbreak finished with a Clanton lay-up, the Knights led 70-29 with 16:07 to go. They reached triple digits thanks to a pair of Jordan free throws that made the score 101-48 with 6:46 left.
The Argonauts continued to show fight in the game’s dying stages, boosted by the contributions of several reserve players. Freshman Lendward Griffin stole the ball and finished a breakaway with a slam dunk to cut the gap to 109-56 with 2:27 left.
Later in the frame, UWF scored their final two baskets on back-to-back possessions. Mike Whisman started the run with a stick-back at the 1:58 mark, and Keldric White scored a hoop with 1:34 left to cut the score to 113-60.
White finished with eight points on the night, going 4-5 from the free throw line. Sims, meanwhile, chipped in six points and Griffin scored five in his collegiate debut.
West Florida heads to The Last Frontier for their next round of games, at the 2010 Alaska Invitational. UWF will face Arkansas-Fort Smith on Thursday in Fairbanks, Alaska, with tip time scheduled for 5:15 local time.