GREENVILLE, N.C. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team played its most complete game of the season Saturday as the Knights rolled to an 81-63 Conference USA victory at East Carolina. Four Knights finished with double digits in scoring, led by Isaiah Sykes who totaled 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting.
UCF (12-3, 2-0 C-USA) also received a huge performance from A.J. Rompza. The senior point guard filled up the box score with 16 points, nine assists, seven boards and five steals.
Keith Clanton recorded 16 points and three blocks, and during the second half, became the 15th player in program history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for their career.
UCF built a 22-point advantage in the second half. The Pirates (9-6, 0-2) got within 11 points with 7:12 to go in the game, but UCF responded, getting two buckets from Clanton, a layup from Sykes and a basket by P.J. Gaynor to go back up 19 points.
"The guys came in here focused from the start to the finish," UCF associate head coach Shawn Finney said. "Our guys stayed focused and poised. Our guys kept playing aggressively."
The Knights shot 52.2 percent for the game, and limited the Pirates to only 36.7 percent shooting from the floor. The victory was the first on the road this season for the Knights.
Rompza scored 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the first half. The Knights shot 50.0 percent overall in the opening stanza, led by as many as 14 points and took a 38-31 lead into halftime.
The Knights came out aggressively after the break, and built a 16-point advantage less than six minutes into the half after Clanton and Rompza got steals and fastbreak layups on back-to-back possessions.
"Defensively, we were getting steals, we were getting rebounds," Finney said. "We came out aggressively at the start of the second half and we were able to build a big lead."
The win was the fourth-straight for UCF, who opened league play Wednesday with a 60-53 victory over visiting Tulane.
Marcus Jordan added 12 points for the Knights, who finished with a 46-29 edge on the glass. Sykes added 10 boards for his second double-double of the year.
"Isaiah played very well. He was really looking to score in transition and when he plays well, it seems like our whole team plays well," Finney said.
UCF will return to action Wednesday, hosting Houston at 7 p.m. at the UCF Arena.