6:00 PM ET, December 19, 2005
McKale Center, Tucson, Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Courtney Lee scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half and Western Kentucky rallied to beat Central Florida 72-68 Monday in the opening game of the Fiesta Bowl Classic.The Hilltoppers (6-3) play the winner of Monday night's Sam Houston State-Arizona game for the championship on Wednesday. UCF plays the loser of that game.Anthony Winchester added 14 points for the winners despite 3-for-10 shooting, 1-for-5 on 3-pointers. Ty Rogers added 10.Josh Peppers scored 18 and Mike O'Donnell had 13 points and nine assists for the Golden Knights (5-3), who led by as many as 13 points in the first half and were up 39-28 at the break.UCF never trailed until Rogers' 3-pointer put Western Kentucky ahead 60-58 with 4:53 to play.Peppers' basket inside tied it at 60-60, but the Hilltoppers scored the next six. Winchester made two free throws, Elgrace Wilborn scored inside and Lee sank a jumper from the lane to make it 66-60 with 1:20 to play.Even though the Hilltoppers made only 5-of-13 free throws after that, the Golden Knights couldn't get closer than the final four-point margin.O'Donnell scored four and assisted on the other five points in a 9-0 spur that put the Golden Knights up 18-7 with 12:49 to go in the half.Troy Linbeck's 3-pointer with 5:01 remaining gave Central Florida a 33-20 lead. The Golden Knights twice more took 13-point leads before Wilborn's stuff at the buzzer cut the UCF lead to 39-28 at the break.UCF shot 52 percent in the first half (15-for-29), 5-for-11 on 3-pointers, but 41 percent (12-for-29) and just 3-of-13 3s in the second. Peppers was 3-for-4 from 3-point range and scored 11 in the first half. He finished 4-for-7 on 3s.Western Kentucky had a 21-11 advantage on the offensive boards and outrebounded UCF 42-34 overall. Lee led the rebounders with nine.
|FG Made-Attempted||26-62 (.419)||27-58 (.466)|
|3P Made-Attempted||8-21 (.381)||8-24 (.333)|
|FT Made-Attempted||13-26 (.500)||6-11 (.545)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||24 (0/0)|
|» Dec 19, 2005||WKU 73, @UCF 68||Recap|