Taylor Pours in 38 as Knights Claim Tourney Title

GO KNIGHTS UCF Holiday Classic MVP Jermaine Taylor poured in a career-high 38 points in the win.
UCF Holiday Classic MVP Jermaine Taylor poured in a career-high 38 points in the win.

Dec. 30, 2008

Final Stats |  Notes

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.) poured in a career-high 38 points Tuesday evening, lifting the UCF men's basketball team to an 89-75 win over visiting Chicago State in the UCF Holiday Classic championship game. The Knights improved to 8-4 overall and 6-0 at the UCF Arena this season with the win.

Taylor, who garnered tournament MVP honors for the second-consecutive year, totaled 24 points in the opening half. For the game, he connected 13-of-22 field goals and also went 9-of-11 at the free-throw line against the Cougars (7-7).

UCF limited Chicago State's David Holston, who entered the game as the nation's second-leading scorer at 27.8 points per game, to only 14 points on 4-of-17 shooting from the field. Holston totaled 40 points on Monday against Campbell.

"We are glad that we won and happy that we won a championship. We also understand that there are an awful lot of things in this game that we need to improve and get better at," UCF head coach Kirk Speraw said. "Jermaine certainly had an outstanding tournament offensively and really showed his versatility in scoring in a variety of ways."

UCF shot 53.4 percent overall for the contest and limited the Cougars to a 39.1 percent showing overall and a 3-of-20 (15.0 percent) performance from 3-point range.

The hosts pulled away from Chicago State near the end of the first half, closing the period on a 23-9 run. Taylor totaled 12 points during the spurt, which he capped with a triple with eight seconds to go that allowed the Knights to take a 47-35 advantage into intermission.

Freshman guard A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) recorded 10 assists and six boards in the win and joined Taylor on the all-tournament squad. Senior center Kenrick Zondervan (Hoofddorp, Holland) scored 10 points and paced the Knights with seven rebounds.



UCF finished the game with a 43-28 edge on the glass.

John Cantrell led the Cougars with 29 points.

Penn defeated Campbell, 78-67, in the consolation game Tuesday.

Cantrell, Holston, Penn's Jack Eggleston and Campbell's Jonathan Rodriguez were also selected to the all-tournament team.

UCF will continue its six-game homestand Saturday, playing Sam Houston State at 7 p.m. After meeting the Bearkats, the Knights will host Holy Cross on Tuesday and then open Conference USA play in Orlando on Jan. 10 against national power Memphis.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.