UCF handles East Carolina to advance to AAC quarterfinal round

Last Updated: Thursday, March 08, 2018

UCF's push for a postseason berth continues for at least 24 more hours.

The Knights held off a 13-1 run by East Carolina in the second half to top the Pirates, 66-52, in a first-round American Athletic Conference tournament matchup at Amway Center, which is about a 15 minute drive from the UCF campus.

UCF (20-12, 10-9 AAC) led by double-digits for much of the game, but the Pirates' run cut the Knights' lead to two with less than ten minutes to go. UCF pulled away by outscoring ECU 19-7 from that point with the win.

B.J. Taylor was the Knights' leading scorer with 17 points, while Chad Brown pulled in 10 rebounds.

The Knights, who advanced to the NIT Final Four for the first time in school history a year ago, will likely return to that tournament unless they were to win the AAC and receive the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.

UCF will likely have to beat three ranked opponents if they wish to cut the nets down on Sunday. Those tests begin Friday night against No. 21 Houston, with a tip-off shortly after 9:00 p.m.