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CJ Kelly's 21 points lead UCF past Gators 67-49 in National Invitational Tournament

Knights advance to second round to play Oregon
UCF Knights guard C.J. Kelly sets up for shot, Jan. 25, 2023
Posted at 11:12 AM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 11:13:01-04

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — CJ Kelly scored 21 points and UCF beat No. 4 seed Florida 67-49 on Wednesday night in the National Invitational Tournament.

UCF (19-14) advances to the second round to play Oregon.

Kelly shot 9 for 13, including 2 for 4 from beyond the arc for the Knights. Taylor Hendricks scored 17 points and added eight rebounds. Ithiel Horton recorded 12 points and shot 5 for 10, including 2 for 6 from beyond the arc.

Riley Kugel led the way for the Gators (16-17) with 13 points. Niels Lane and Myreon Jones each added six points.

Florida lost eight of its last 11 contests and went without its leading scorer, Colin Castleton, since Feb. 15 due to a broken hand.

UCF took the lead with 11:52 left in the first half and never looked back. Hendricks led his team in scoring with 13 points in the first half to help put them up 35-26 at the break. UCF pulled away with a 9-0 run in the second half to extend a nine-point lead to 18 points. They outscored Florida by nine points in the final half, as Kelly led the way with a team-high 14.

The Knights and Gators squared off for the first time since 2012.