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UCF on short end in battle of giants

UCF’s Tacko Fall, left, gets past fellow 7-6 Senegalese center Mamadou Ndiaye and heads to the basket. Fall has six points and Ndiaye has five for UC Irvine.

Associated Press

UCF’s Tacko Fall, left, gets past fellow 7-6 Senegalese center Mamadou Ndiaye and heads to the basket. Fall has six points and Ndiaye has five for UC Irvine.

ORLANDO — UCF's Tacko Fall got the better of UC Irvine's Mamadou Ndiaye in the showdown between the tallest players in college basketball, but Ndiaye and the Anteaters earned the win, 61-60 in overtime Wednesday.

The 7-foot-6 Fall looked far from a college basketball rookie with just two years of organized basketball experience as he outplayed the 7-6 Ndiaye, who stumbled into foul trouble.

Fall scored six on 3-for-9 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds and had four blocks. Ndiaye was held to five points (1-of-5 from the field), two rebounds and no blocks.

Fall was impactful from the start, blocking two of Ndiaye's shots within the first 1:30 before an announced crowd of 5,629 at CFE Arena.

"It felt great to finally be able to play in front of the home crowd. I remember last year when I used to come here and watch them play," Fall said. "I didn't know what to expect coming into the game, but then after those two plays I was like, 'Okay, I can guard him.' "

Fall and Ndiaye were surrounded by reporters before and after the game.

"I worried, physically, that Mamadou may overwhelm him a little bit. But obviously Tacko's a pretty good size himself and long and pretty athletic and agile," UCF coach Donnie Jones said. "It was a unique evening for both of those guys.

"(Fall's) confidence is only going to get better. He's still trying, and our team's still trying to learn how to play with him, when to get him the ball, how to pass it to him."

Luke Nelson had 22 points and six assists to lead UCI (3-0). A.J. Davis led the Knights (0-2) with 19 points and five assists.

NO. 1 UNC 78, WOFFORD 58: Brice Johnson had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the host Tar Heels (3-0), who outscored the Terriers 50-18 in the paint and outrebounded them 42-24 but couldn't pull away until late in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.

NO. 10 GONZAGA 91, N. ARIZONA 52: Domantas Sabonis scored 26 and Kyle Wiltjer added 23 for the host Bulldogs in their season opener. Their scheduled opener Friday against Pittsburgh was called off at halftime because of slippery court conditions at the Armed Forces Classic in Okinawa, Japan.

NO. 21 PURDUE 96, INCARNATE WORD 61: Isaac Haas scored 17 for the host Boilermakers (3-0), who shot 72 percent from the field during a 53-point first half in a Hall of Fame Tipoff game.

LATE TUESDAY: Senior guard Denzel Valentine had 29 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists — the 13th triple double in Spartans history — and No. 13 Michigan State rallied for a 79-73 victory over No. 4 Kansas at the Champions Classic in Chicago. The points and assists were career highs. Valentine put the Spartans ahead for good at 72-71 on a drive with 1:29 left.


NO. 2 S.C. 67, CLEMSON 41: Tiffany Mitchell scored 18 to lead the visiting Gamecocks (3-0) to a sluggish victory.

NO. 3 N. DAME 74, TOLEDO 39: Kathryn Westbeld scored 13 for the host Irish (2-0), who held the Rockets to 23.7 percent shooting.

NO. 4 TENN. 74, PENN ST. 66: Bashaara Graves made all eight shots from the floor and all eight free throws, scoring 24 and adding 13 rebounds as the Vols (2-0) won their 24th straight home game.

NO. 8 MARYLAND 105, HIGH POINT 50: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had a career-high 26 points and added 10 rebounds to lead the host Terrapins (2-0) to their second straight blowout win.

NO. 11 TEXAS 86, N'WESTERN ST. 33: Imani Boyette had 25 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the field and added 14 rebounds for the host Longhorns (2-0).

NO. 12 TEXAS A&M 72, NO. 14 DUKE 66, OT: Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams combined for eight of the Aggies' nine points in overtime to lead visiting Texas A&M (3-0) over the Blue Devils (2-1).

NO. 13 KENTUCKY 112, MOREHEAD ST. 57: Makayla Epps recorded the second triple double in program history with 21 points and career highs of 11 rebounds and 12 assists for the host Wildcats (3-0).

NO. 23 MICH. ST. 66, GEORGIA 45: Tori Jankoska made four 3-pointers and finished with 20 points to lead the host Spartans (2-0).

UCF on short end in battle of giants 11/18/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 11:26pm]
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