W Kentucky 73

(6-3, 3-1 away)

UCF 68

(5-3, 5-1 home)

    6:00 PM ET, December 19, 2005

    McKale Center, Tucson, Arizona

    1 2 T
    WKU 28 4573
    UCF 39 2968

    Top Performers

    Western Kentucky: C. Lee 22 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 5 Stl, 1 Blk

    UCF: M. O'Donnell 13 Pts, 3 Reb, 9 Ast, 3 Stl

    Western Kentucky 72, Central Florida 68

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 73 68
    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)
    Largest Lead 5 11

    2005-06 Season

    » Dec 19, 2005 WKU 73, @UCF 68Recap