ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Darin Green Jr. scored a career-high 27 points, Brandon Mahan added 26 and the duo combined to make 12 3-pointers to help UCF beat Michigan 85-71 on Thursday night.
UCF made eight straight 3-pointers in the second half — with four coming during an 18-2 run to erase a 12-point deficit and get the crowd back into it.
Green made UCF’s 11th 3-pointer, tying a season high, with 3:22 left to extend the lead to 72-63, and Mahan’s steal and pass to Cheikh Mbacke Diong on a fast break made it 79-69.
Mbacke Diong finished with nine points and seven rebounds for UCF (9-2), which won its fifth straight game. The Knights shot 51.8% overall, including 12 of 20 from distance.
Mahan was just 1 of 3 from the field in the first half, but made all seven of his shots, with five 3-pointers, in the second half.
Eli Brooks led Michigan (7-5) with 18 points. DeVante’ Jones added 17 points, Moussa Diabate scored 13 and Hunter Dickinson had 12 points and nine rebounds to snap his streak of four straight double-doubles.
Michigan opened the second half on a 9-1 run to build a 44-32 lead after not leading by more than seven points in the opening 20 minutes. UCF’s first nine points of the second half were scored by Mahan.
The Wolverines were playing for the first time in 12 days after the Purdue Fort Wayne game (Dec. 21) was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Mastodons program. Michigan is scheduled to play Rutgers on Tuesday.
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