ORLANDO, Fla. -- Marcus Jordan is starting to get on a roll for Central Florida (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP).
Jordan, son of retired NBA star Michael Jordan, scored 18 of his game-high 26 points in the second half to help Central Florida remain unbeaten with a 65-58 victory over Marshall on Wednesday night.It was the Conference USA opener for both teams. UCF improved to 14-0 while Marshall dropped to 10-4.Jordan used a strong second half to help rally the Knights.He nine straight points in one stretch of the second half, then added two assists and a three-point play during a 10-0 run a few minutes later.That helped the Knights erase a 40-34 deficit and seize control of the game."We weren't getting much done offensively so somebody had to make a play for us and that was Marcus," UCF coach Donnie Jones said.Jordan was driving hard into the paint and either finishing, getting fouled or passing to a teammate. He had five assists and was 8 of 12 from the free throw line."Every time I go in the paint, I want to put the decision on the referee to call a foul or a charge," Jordan said. "Luckily the calls were going my way.""We coached our guys for two days on keeping [Jordan] out of the lane, but he was endless, endless, endless in getting in there," Marshall coach Tom Herrion said. "Give Marcus credit, he did a great job, but we let him get in there way too many times."UCF's defense in the second half was also solid. The Knights limited Marshall to 28.6 percent shooting (10 of 35).Backup center Tom Herzog had four of the team's 11 blocks."Our defense really won this game for us," Jones said. "They have some kids who can really drive the ball to the basket and Tom either blocked their shots or altered them greatly. That's what won the game for us."Keith Clanton added 14 points and Isaac Sosa 13 for the Knights.Shaquille Johnson led Marshall with 15 points and Tirrell Baines had 14.Clanton started and finished the decisive 10-0 run with layups. Jordan had a 3-point play and Sosa made a 3-pointer as UCF took a 52-46 lead with 5:01 left.The Knights led by as many as eight from there on, but didn't clinch the win until Clanton's two free throws with 15 seconds left.Neither team could get more than a four-point advantage in the first half that ended at 28-28.Jordan had eight points and Sosa hit a pair of 3-pointers.Marshall shot only 40.7 percent for the half. Baines had four dunks on his way to 10 first-half points.