Senior A.J. Davis has talked a lot lately about leaving a legacy at UCF. Tonight, he moved closer to that goal by hitting the biggest shot of his career.
Down by three with under five seconds left, Davis picked a loose ball off the court and hoisted a three that banked in and sent UCF to overtime with No. 11 Wichita State.
“It just kind of bounced around and I was able to get it and get it squared up to the basket and get a good look off,” Davis said. “I just wanted to make sure it got there and it just kind of banked in and fell.”
It was not enough however, as the Knights lost a hard fought game to the Shockers 75-71 in overtime.
“We’re not happy with the loss, but you got to take something out of it, moving towards the tournament,” B.J. Taylor said. “And what we took from it is that we can compete with anyone in this conference.”
Down by as much as nine with just over nine minutes left, the Knights made an impressive comeback that set up Davis’s late game heroics.
Despite it being one of their best offensive efforts in terms of output, in the end it was the lack of offensive depth behind Davis and Taylor that did the Knights in.
Davis continued his hot streak, as he had a career high 31 points and 14 rebounds on 56 percent shooting, including 6-9 from the three-point line. Taylor added 23 points and 5 assists. The other eight Knights that saw time combined for 17 points and 13 rebounds.
“I’m counting more on them to get the stop on the other end and get the rebound, or get that charge, being help side defense, more than I am counting on them to knock down that shot,” said Davis. “He (Taylor) produces a lot of points, I’ve been producing points lately, so I think we’re able to score. The other guys are able to score too, so I’m never too worried about the points.
Davis is now averaging 20 points and 8.5 rebounds on 60 percent shooting over the last six games.
“We talk about leaving our legacy all the time and A.J. understands that well, because he’s in the midst of having to do that,” coach Johnny Dawkins said. “He realizes this is it. And he wants to make sure we do something special and that’s the way he’s playing.”
After getting down to start the game, the Knights used a 14-0 run after the first media timeout to take a 22-11 lead. The Shockers answered back with a 25-7 run to end the half, holding the Knights to just one made field goal over the final 12 minutes of the half.
The Knights started the second half with a 16-4 run to regain the lead. The Shockers would take the lead back shortly after and keep the Knights at an arms distance until the Knights four-minute comeback.
After having a chance to get a first-round bye in the AAC tournament, UCF has now lost three games in a row. The Knights now need to win out to make the NCAA Tournament.
“I do, with all my heart,” Taylor said about making a run at the NCAA tournament. “I think we can beat anyone in this conference.”