NORMAN, Okla. (AP)Brady Manek grabbed 10 rebounds and scored 13 points, including a critical 3-pointer late, and Oklahoma overcame poor shooting to hold off Central Florida 53-52 on Saturday.
Manek’s 3 with 1:20 to play put the Sooners (8-3) up 53-45, but the Knights scored four unanswered points while the Sooners missed two shots and a 3-pointer at the buzzer by UCF’s Dre Fuller Jr. missed.
”Unbelievable effort and a great response by our team when our shooting wasn’t there,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. ”Brady hit that big shot late which was huge for us.”
Kristian Doolittle scored 12 points for Oklahoma (8-3), whose 53 points was their lowest scoring output this season behind the 54 points scored in a loss at Stanford.
”It’s very clear we have a lot of work to do and get things figured out,” Kruger said. ”We got to get a lot more flow offensively and keep working and improving defensively.”
Fuller scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds for UCF (10-2), which saw its six-game win streak end. Fuller’s 3-pointer from the baseline sailed over the rim as time expired.
”We got away from the things that were successful for us, and we have to learn from that,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. ”Our guys have been in games like this all year. They have been scrapping and have given us a chance to win all year, including tonight.”
Dazon Ingram had 10 points and 14 rebounds and made four assists for the Knights and Collin Smith had 10 rebounds.
Oklahoma managed a win over a NCAA National Tournament team despite shooting 21 of 65 from the field (32.3%). The Sooners limited UCF to just to just four points in the game’s final six minutes and kept the Knights off the free throw line, allowing them just six trips where they made five shots. UCF redshirt freshman Dre Fuller Jr. matched his season-high in points with 13 to lead the Knights. He was a McDonald’s All-American in 2017-18 before redshirting last season. It was the first time this season he has led UCF in scoring.
Oklahoma hosts UT-Rio Grand Valley next Monday before beginning Big Ten conference play.
UCF hosts Temple next Tuesday the teams begin American Conference play.
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