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Wednesday December 1, 2010Gators Edged 57-54 by UCF

ORLANDO, Fla. - The 18/16 University of Florida men’s basketball team dropped its second game of the season, 57-54 to the UCF Knights at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.  The loss was Florida’s first against UCF in 10 meetings.

Senior center Vernon Macklin (Portsmouth, Va.) overcame early foul trouble to post 20 points on 10-for-11 shooting—14 in the second half—and eight rebounds. Junior guard Erving Walker (Brooklyn, N.Y.) had 16 points and sophomore guard Kenny Boynton (Pompano Beach, Fla.) added 10 as the trio accounted for 46 of Florida’s 54 points (85.2 percent).

The Gators, after trailing for most of the game, used a 10-0 run to take a 46-44 lead midway through the second half.

After a Macklin lay-up trimmed UCF’s lead to 53-52 with 1:06 remaining, the Knights called a timeout. Boynton stole the ensuing in-bounds pass, giving the Gators an opportunity to claim the lead late. Following a timeout, Boynton curled off of a screen to free himself and was long on a mid-range jumper. UCF’s Keith Clanton snatched the rebound and the Gators fouled teammate Marcus Jordan who sank both free throws to put the Knights ahead 55-52.

Florida pushed the ball up the floor and Walker missed a three that Macklin was able to tap back to Boynton who had spotted up beyond the arc. He launched a trey that failed to connect and Clanton grabbed the rebound and made two free throws as the Gators were forced to foul.

Walker raced down the court and converted a driving lay-up with eight seconds left and senior forward Chandler Parsons (Casselberry, Fla.) fouled Clanton with four seconds left and the Gators down by three. Clanton missed the front end of the 1-and-1 and Macklin secured the rebound but sent an outlet pass toward Walker that the guard could not handle and the ball landed out of bounds, sealing the victory for the Knights.

Marcus Jordan led the Knights with 18 poiints while Keith Clanton had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Florida will next take to the hardwood on Sunday, Dec. 5 as they take on American University at 2:30 p.m. at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. The game will be televised on Sun Sports.

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