UCF wards off ECU down the stretch to advance in AAC tourney

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — B.J. Taylor scored 17 points and A.J. Davis scored 14 and No. 6-seed Central Florida beat 11th seed East Carolina 66-52 in an American Athletic Conference Tournament first round game Thursday night.

Central Florida (19-12) advances to play No. 3 seed Houston, which had a bye, in a quarterfinal matchup on Friday.

Taylor and Davis scored the Knights’ first 13 points and Central Florida used an 11-0 run for a 22-9 lead and stayed on top the rest of the way. UCF led 36-25 at halftime and extended the lead to 14 after intermission before a 13-0 run brought East Carolina within 46-45 on B.J. Tyson’s 3-pointer.

The Pirates went scoreless for four minutes before a lone free throw, and UCF sealed it with an 18-1 run and were never threatened. East Carolina’s two dunks in the final 73 seconds were its only field goals in the last 9½ minutes.

Shawn Williams scored 17 for the Pirates (10-20) and Tyson scored 14.

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