NORFOLK, Va. (UCFAthletics.com) - Playing outside of Florida for the first time this season, the UCF held off Old Dominion, 75-71, Friday at the Constant Center. UCF, who improved to 6-2, was led by Calvin Newell, who scored 17 points.
The Knights led by as many as 11 points in the first half and then recovered after the Monarchs (1-9) grabbed a 1-point advantage with 11:44 left in the contest.
Leading by a point with 3:40 left, the Knights gained some breathing room when Kasey Wilson (14 points) drained a long 3-pointer with two seconds left on the shot clock to give the visitors a 64-60 advantage. Old Dominion got within two points with 23 seconds left, but Isaiah Sykes (14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, five steals) and Tristan Spurlock both hit a pair of free throws.
"Any road win is a good one. I am proud of our guys. We handled some adversity and were able to execute at the end of the game," UCF head coach Donnie Jones said.
Coming off a career-high 30 points Wednesday against Bethune-Cookman, Keith Clanton only played 25 minutes due to foul trouble. The senior still finished with 15 points.
UCF came out hot to open the game. Newell hit an early triple and Wilson followed with two 3-pointers of his own to set the tone for the rest of the half. Wilson had three treys and 11 points in the opening half and UCF led 36-30 at the break.
Old Dominion shot 54.2 percent in the second half to get back into the game. Aaron Bacote paced the hosts with 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting from deep.
The Knights made 19-of-25 (76.0 percent) free throws for the game. UCF shot 54.5 percent overall and 57.1 percent from 3-point range.
Playing in his second game as a Knight, Newell shot 4-of-6 from deep. Sykes shot 5-of-12 from the field, but his most impressive play of the game came after he hit two free throws with six seconds left that gave the Knights a six-point lead. Old Dominion's Nick Wright tried to roll the ball up the court to conserve time, but the junior dove to steal the ball below the UCF free-throw line.
"I just want to get those hustle points," Sykes said. "The game wasn't over and I want to do whatever it takes to help us win."
The Knights will return to action Tuesday when they host Miami, a team currently receiving top-25 votes, at 8 p.m. The contest will mark the first time since the UCF Arena opened in 2007 that UCF will host an ACC program.