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College hoops roundup: ‘Canes win, UCF falls

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Detroit 95, Central Florida 89

Central Florida traveled to Detroit seeking their fifth consecutive victory, but instead came away with a disappointing defeat. The Titans built a big lead in the first half and never surrendered it as they took out the Knights 95-89 on Saturday.

Josh McFoley’s three-pointer with 8:17 left in the first half, one of five made by Detroit at that point, gave the Titans a 27-15 lead. After UCF went on a 13-4 run to get within three, Detroit closed on a 14-6 run of their own to take a 45-34 lead into the locker room.

UCF fell behind by 15 to start the second half, but rallied. When Tanksley Efianayi hit a jumper with 11:58 left, the Knights trailed only 59-57. Detroit again resumed control and back to 12 with 7:28 remaining. Paris Bass made eight free throws over the final three minutes to keep UCF at bay.

Chris Jenkins led Detroit with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Bass added 23. The Titans shot 52 percent from the field, while the Knights shot 49 percent.

UCF was led by A.J. Davis with 23 while Tacko Fall had 13. Next up for Central Florida (5-4) is a visit from Bethune Cookman on Tuesday.

No. 15 Miami 85, College of Charleston 63

It wasn’t a thing of beauty early on, but the 15th-ranked Miami earned an 85-63 victory over Charleston on Saturday. The win was Miami’s fourth straight after their only loss to Northeastern on Nov. 27.

The loss snapped the Cougars’ five-game winning streak that included a 12-point win over highly regarded LSU. Charleston dropped to 7-2.

The Hurricanes led by as many as 13 in the first half, but settled for a 41-32 lead at halftime. Devon Reed got Miami going with two three-pointers in the span of two minutes.

After the intermission, Miami went more than four minutes without a field goal allowing the Cougars to close within 43-40. Ja’Quan Newton and Sheldon McClellan then scored the next 12 points for the Hurricanes to help them extend their lead to 55-42.

Another 12-0 Miami run, capped by a Newton three-pointer, gave them a 21-point advantage with 7:47 remaining. The Hurricanes’ biggest lead was 28 points before coasting to the victory.

Miami (9-1) was led by Newton, who scored 20 points off the bench, followed by McClellan with 14, Anthony Lawrence, Jr. with 11 and Tonye Jekiri with 10. Canyon Berry led the Cougars with 20 points, while Jarrell Brantley had 13.

The Hurricanes make a trip to Philadelphia on Tuesday to take on the LaSalle Explorers.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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