Feb. 18, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With a game-winning shot from freshman guard A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) and a record-setting scoring performance by senior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.), it was easy to overlook the play of senior center Kenrick Zondervan (Hoofddorp, Holland) during UCF's comeback win over Tulsa last Saturday. The two guards got most of the accolades following the game, but Zondervan was a big reason why the Knights topped the visiting Golden Hurricane.
In 31 minutes, he totaled 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor. He went 8-of-12 at the free-throw line and knocked down four key foul shots during the last three minutes of the game. He also added six boards in the winning effort.
Zondervan has clearly elevated his game in Conference USA play, where he is averaging 9.9 points and 5.3 rebounds. In UCF's last three games, he averaged 15.3 points and 5.7 rebounds. Zondervan began the stretch with a career-high 19 points at East Carolina on Feb. 7.
Zondervan credits his teammates for his recent offensive outburst. He says that the unselfish Knights are looking for him more in the post than in the past.
"Even though we have Jermaine Taylor, we keep passing the ball a lot," Zondervan said. "We have A.J. Rompza and Taylor Young, so I think we have two of the best distributers in the nation. We have confidence that other players will make shots and finish plays. Even Jermaine Taylor is getting three or four assists (per game). He has the confidence that we are going to finish."
In the last three games, Zondervan made 25 trips to the free throw line, knocking down 18 shots. Against Tulsa, he was instrumental in causing three Golden Hurricane players, including star center Jerome Jordan, to foul out.
UCF will return to action Saturday at Houston. Tip-off from Hofheinz Pavilion is set for 8 p.m. Eastern. The team's next contest at the UCF Arena is Wednesday, Feb. 25, versus Rice.
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.
Notes: When the Knights play at Houston, the team will be seeking its fourth road win of the year. In 2007-08, UCF claimed three victories on the road... In C-USA play, sophomore forward A.J. Tyler (Palm Harbor, Fla.) leads the league in free-throw percentage. He has made 22-of-23 (95.7 percent) of his tries against conference opponents.