Central Florida 78, Temple 76: Isaiah Sykes posted 23 points, a career-high 15 rebounds and six assists as the host Knights secured their first American Athletic Conference victory over the reeling Owls.
Eugene McCrory recorded his first double-double with career highs in points (18) and rebounds (10) for Central Florida (9-4, 1-1 AAC), which held a 41-27 edge on the boards. Kasey Wilson added 18 points as the Knights bounced back from Tuesday's 25-point defeat to Louisville.
Will Cummings exploded for a career-high 31 points for Temple (5-7, 0-2), which has dropped four of five. Quenton DeCosey chipped in with 14 points while Anthony Lee contributed 12 for the Owls, who fell to 2-6 in games decided by six points or fewer.
Central Florida scored the first eight points and jumped out to a 20-6 lead before Cummings knocked down three 3-pointers en route to a 20-point first half to ignite a 22-4 burst. Wilson, who poured in 13 points before intermission, hit a 3-pointer to send the Knights into the break with a 40-38 advantage.
Sykes, who posted his 13th career double-double by halftime (11 points, 10 rebounds) continued to have his way after the break, and converted a layup to make it 66-59 before a 7-0 surge by Temple knotted the game with less than six minutes left. The Owls could not get over the hump despite closing within one on two occasions thereafter as Central Florida hit five free throws down the stretch to hold on.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Central Florida hit three 3-pointers for the second straight game after knocking down at least 11 in its previous four contests. … Temple, which likely lost sixth man Daniel Dingle for the season with a knee injury during practice last week, took another hit when starting F Mark Williams suffered a left ankle injury and did not return. … This was the first-ever meeting between the two programs.