TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — UCF hadn’t played in 13 days, yet the Knights’ top players looked as if they were in midseason form in knocking off a Florida State team that hadn’t lost at home in nearly two years.
Brandon Mahan scored 26 of his career-high 32 points in the second half and freshman Isaiah Adams added 22 points as UCF beat No. 15 Florida State 86-74 on Saturday night, ending the Seminoles’ 27-game home winning streak.
Mahan shot 10 of 13 from the floor and 10 of 10 from the free-throw line as UCF (2-1) won for the first time in 12 games against the Seminoles.
Darin Green Jr. scored 20 points for the Knights, who opened the second half by making 6 of 7 3-pointers to pull away. UCF shot 27 of 54 (50%) from the floor and 9 of 19 (47.4 %) from 3-point range.
UCF’s trio of Mahan, Adams and Green accounted for 74 of the team’s 86 points.
“They played with a lot of confidence and that confidence permeated to the rest of our team as well,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. “It’s been tough. We haven’t been able to play that many games. It’s been hard on our guys.”
Adams had eight rebounds and Mahan added six rebounds as UCF won the battle on the boards 32-25.
UCF also put the game out of reach at the line, making 23 of 26 (88.5%).
“We’ve been in the gym getting our shots up,” Mahan said. “Learning and buying in.”
The Knights did just that, putting away Florida State for a fifth win over a ranked team since Dawkins took over at UCF in the 2016-17 season.
M.J. Walker scored 22 points, two shy of a career high, as the Seminoles (4-1) saw their streak of 41 straight home non-conference wins snapped. RaiQuan Gray and Anthony Polite had 14 points apiece.
Florida State shot 24 of 51 (47.1%) and 10 of 23 (43.5%) from 3-point range. But the Seminoles made just 16 of 26 free throw attempts (61.5%), had more turnovers (14) than assists (11) and couldn’t make a late push, as they did in recent wins over Indiana and Georgia Tech.
“I’m not in a panic mode,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We’re a team that’s still growing and developing. We’re not a team that’s fine-tuned yet. I think this team exploited some of the areas where we need to improve.”
Florida State had gradually moved up in the top 25, but this loss should drop the Seminoles a few spots and potentially out of the top 20.
Mahan, a Texas A&M transfer, had a key role in all three of UCF’s games this season. He scored 21 points in a loss to Michigan but had 12 second-half points in a win over Auburn. Mahan has made a big jump from last season, in which he started 30 games and averaged 7.5 points in his first season in Orlando.
UCF: The Knights hadn’t played since a Dec. 6 loss at Michigan but pulled off their first win over a ranked team since knocking off Cincinnati on March 7, 2019.
Florida State: The Seminoles lost for the first time in Tallahassee since No. 1 Duke defeated Florida State 80-78 on Jan. 12, 2019.
UCF: Hosts Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Florida State: Hosts Gardner Webb on Monday.