B.J. Taylor scored a game-high 22 points — including six in the final two minutes — to propel No. 25 UCF to a 58-55 victory over No. 20 Cincinnati on Thursday night in Orlando, completing back-to-back wins over the top two teams in the American Athletic Conference.
The Knights (23-6, 13-4 AAC), coming off a victory over league-leading Houston, snapped any hopes the Bearcats (25-5, 14-3) had of a second consecutive AAC regular-season title.
Taylor broke a tie with a layup, and then again with two free throws, all in the final two minutes. After Cane Broome missed a 3-point attempt, Taylor’s layup with 17 seconds remaining put the Knights up 57-53.
Another deep try by Broome just before the buzzer came up short, sealing UCF’s fourth win in a row and seventh in eight games.
No. 12 Houston 90, SMU 79
Armoni Brooks scored 20 points as the host Cougars clinched a share of their first regular-season conference championship since 1992 with a victory over the depleted Mustangs.
Houston (28-2, 15-2 AAC) bounced back from its first home loss in two years by shooting 12 of 29 on 3-point attempts and outflanking SMU (13-16, 5-12). The Mustangs, ravaged by injuries, dropped their fourth consecutive game and fell for the ninth time in 10 games.
Corey Davis Jr. scored 17 points while Breaon Brady added 16 points for the Cougars, who secured the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament in Memphis next week. Jahmal McMurray led SMU with 24 points while Ethan Chargois scored 21.
No. 21 Wisconsin 65, Iowa 45
Ethan Happ scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in his last home game as the Badgers moved within a game of securing a double bye in next week’s Big Ten Conference tournament by pasting the Hawkeyes in Madison, Wis.
Happ also added three assists, two steals and two blocked shots for Wisconsin (21-9, 13-6 Big Ten), which would clinch the fourth seed for the conference tourney if it wins its regular-season finale Sunday at Ohio State.
Khalil Iverson also posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds as the Badgers polished off a series sweep of the Hawkeyes (21-9, 10-9).
—Field Level Media