No. 12 seed UCF opens second half on 18-1 run, beats 13-seed Oklahoma State 77-62 in Big 12 opener

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ibrahima Diallo had 17 points and 11 rebounds, C.J. Walker added 12 points and No. 12 seed UCF used an 18-1 run to start the second half and roll to a 77-62 victory over No. 13 seed Oklahoma State to open the Big 12 Tournament on Tuesday.

Darius Johnson also had 11 points for the Knights (17-14), who led 35-31 at halftime before cruising into Wednesday's second-round game against 20th-ranked BYU, another Big 12 newcomer and the No. 4 seed in the tournament.

Javon Small hit five 3-pointers and scored 21 points for the Cowboys (12-20), who finished the season on a six-game losing streak. Eric Dailey Jr. added 12 points and Brandon Garrison had 10.

UCF and Oklahoma State both got off to dreadful shooting starts, combining to go 5 for 25 from the field, and things never got a whole lot better even as the Knights built a 35-31 halftime lead in their first ever game in the Big 12 Tournament.

Their game plan was clear: use their size advantage to their benefit.

The 7-foot Diallo had 11 points and seven rebounds by halftime, and the 6-8 Walker and 6-10 Omar Payne were active around the rim whenever the fifth-year senior from Senegal was able to catch a breather on the bench.

UCF stuck with that plan in the second half, when Diallo and Walker joined Jaylin Sellers in scoring the first 13 points to stretch the lead to 48-31 with 15:15 to go. And when the Cowboys finally got a free throw from Dailey, the Knights scored five more to extend their run to 18-1 before Dailey finally got Oklahoma State's first field goal of the half with 11:50 remaining.

By that point, the Knights had pushed their lead past 20 and were coasting into the Big 12 tourney's second round.

UP NEXT

Oklahoma State must decide whether to keep Mike Boynton, who has three 20-win seasons but only one NCAA Tournament berth in seven seasons leading the Cowboys. They've also had just one winning record in conference play.

UCF has a quick turnaround, facing BYU in the first of four second-round games Wednesday morning.

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