ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Darius Johnson had 16 points and five assists, Jaylin Sellers scored 15 points and UCF held No. 23 Texas Tech without a field goal for more than nine minutes in the second half en route to a 75-61 victory Saturday.

The win, keyed by a 20-3 second-half run, was the third by the Knights (14-12, 5-9 Big 12) over a ranked opponent at Addition Financial Arena in their first season in the Big 12. The program has eight total wins over ranked opponents in program history.

Johnson led the effort, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Knights some much-needed breathing room and their first double-digit lead with five minutes to play.

Texas Tech (19-8, 8-6) had cut the deficit to two at 53-51 with 9:42 to play after Kerwin Walton made a free throw following a layup a few seconds earlier to put pressure on UCF's second-half lead.

But the Red Raiders found it difficult to score the rest of the way. The Knights took over from there.

UCF did not give up another field goal until there was just more than a minute to play. The Knights forced five turnovers in that span, capped off with Johnson stealing the ball and setting up Shemari Allen for a two-handed dunk to complete the decisive run.

For the Knights, the defensive pressure they deployed was the team returning to its identity and using that to feed the offense to snap a four-game losing streak.

“We became too much of a perimeter-oriented team and a jump-shooting team,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. “That’s not who we are. We want to ground and pound. We want to touch the paint and play inside-out with our bigs. It took us some time to kind of find our way.”

The Knights shot 46.6% for the game and 6 of 12 on 3-pointers. UCF scored 32 points in the paint to Texas Tech's 12, dominating the interior with its shot blockers inside and scoring from the post for much of the game.

UCF's defense stifled Texas Tech's leading scorers, Pop Isaacs and Joe Toussaint. The guard duo averages 28.8 points per game. But Isaacs had only 8 points on 3-for-12 shooting and Toussaint scored 3 points on 1-for-7 shooting.

Texas Tech finished shooting 37% percent from the floor and was only 8 for 28 from 3-point range (28.6%). The Knights blocked three shots and forced 14 turnovers.

“You got to still be aggressive and play through their chin and play toward the basket," Texas Tech coach Grant McCasland said. "We had that stretch we probably settled for some 3s without getting paint. Their length makes you want to shy away from it and play away from the basket, but you have to do the opposite of that.”

Darrion Williams led the Red Raiders with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Walton added 18 points.

The Red Raiders had answers early to all of the Knights’ first-half runs. But Texas Tech went cold from the field in the second half before Eemeli Yalaho hit a corner 3 with 1:02 to play and the game out of reach.

By then, UCF had expanded its lead out and put the game away.

“We've been preaching just getting stops and building stops," Johnson said. "They sat on 51 points for a while. We built on that, getting easy transition buckets and getting fouls. We just built on it.”


Texas Tech: The Red Raiders' NCAA Tournament hopes shouldn't take much of a hit. But they have lost three straight on the road and four of their last five away from Lubbock, Texas.

UCF: The Knights continue to establish the ability to win in the Big 12 even if their NCAA Tournament dreams have long faded. The Knights snapped a four-game losing streak with the win.


Texas Tech: Returns home to face Texas on Tuesday night.

UCF: Hits the road to face Oklahoma State on Wednesday.

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