UCF men's basketball's regular season came to an end Sunday with a 94-62 victory against East Carolina University on Senior Day.
Walking in to the Addition Arena for the last time, seniors Matt Milon, Dazon Ingram and Frank Bertz were honored in a game that ended the regular season on a high note. The Knights set a leading peace that head coach Johnny Dawkins said he was very proud of.
“I thought they did a great job leading the day,” Dawkins said. “We beat a team that I know was playing some really good basketball over the last several weeks and I thought our guys set a tone early on how we were going to play the game.”
The Knights built upon that tone to continue pulling away from the Pirates throughout the first half. Milon helped set the breakthrough at the beginning of the game and ended the game with 16 points and four-threes made. He said that everybody else got involved after he made the first shot.
“Offensively it seemed like things were clicking, and the shots were going in,” Milon said. “ It's just what we were talking about all year, everything coming together and it was good that on senior night on our last home game that we were able to do that.”
The tone continued with freshman guard Darin Green getting hot and holding the position as the top scorer of the team with 23 points. Throughout the game, Green was told he broke the record for the most three pointers made in a season by a freshman in UCF history, but he said he wasn’t focusing on this.
“They told me about it but it wasn’t like something I was aiming for in the game,” Green said. “We just played unselfish and the coach always tells us, when you’re playing unselfish and play right good things will happen; and that’s what we did.”
On Senior Day, the team was playing for each other, which helped the Knights offensively to achieve their highest scoring game of the season. Coach Dawkins said that everyone was moving the basketball and sharing it.
“Just the sheer selflessness that we played,” said Dawkins. “No one cared who scored, it was we scored, and that’s something that when you can get that out of a team, you got something special, and I saw it tonight.”
The Knights had 24 assists on their 33 made field goals with senior guard Dazon Ingram leading the way with 7 assists.
Ending the regular season on that high note, the Knights' next venture will be to Fort Worth, Texas, where they’ll play USF in the American Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday. Green said they will carry over their momentum into the tournament.
“You just gotta keep playing with the same energy,” Green said. “We just gotta keep playing the right way and good things will happen.”
Thursday's game is set for 1 p.m. eastern standard time.