ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Mike O'Donnell scored 18 points and Josh Peppers added 17 to lead Central Florida to a 75-63 victory over New Jersey Tech in the first round of the UCF Holiday Classic Friday.
UCF improved to 9-2 with the victory as head coach Kirk Speraw recorded the 300th win of his coaching career. The Highlanders (2-10) saw their losing streak reach 10 games. The Golden Knights opened the game on a 10-2 run and never trailed in the contest.UCF made 7-of-13 three-point attempts and shot 50 percent from the floor in the opening half to build a 40-25 advantage at the break. UCF finished the game making 11-of-20 from behind the arc, including a 4-of-8 effort by O'Donnell.The Highlanders cut their deficit to single digits at 54-45 with 11:12 to play, but UCF answered with a 13-3 run that gave the Golden Knights their largest lead of the game at 67-48.New Jersey Tech's Clayton Barker led all scorers with 19 points before fouling out with 1:18 to play. Kraig Peters scored 14 for the Highlanders, who outscored UCF 38-35 in the second half on the strength of 15-of-26 (57.7 percent) shooting from the floor.