ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — B.J. Taylor scored 24 points, including two clutch free throws to seal the win, and Central Florida defeated Temple 78-73 in an American Athletic Conference opener on Wednesday night.
Shizz Alston made two free throws and Nate Pierre-Louis' 3-pointer brought Temple to within 66-63 near the four-minute mark, but the Owls went the next 3:44 without a field goal. Pierre-Louis stopped the drought with a dunk to get Temple back within six points with 16 seconds remaining. Aubrey Dawkins missed two free throws before Quinton Rose's 3 reduce the Owls' deficit to76-73 with six seconds left. Taylor made a pair from the foul line for the final margin.
Tacko Fall had his third double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for the Knights (11-2). Terrell Allen added 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds for UCF, which won its fifth straight and improved to 8-1 at home.
Pierre-Louis led Temple (10-3) with 21 points, Alston added 18 points and Rose 17.