HOUSTON (AP) — Collin Smith scored 21 points to help Central Florida beat No. 8 Houston 69-64 on Saturday.
The Knights (22-6, 12-4 American Athletic) outscored the Cougars 41-31 in the second half to snap a seven-game losing streak against ranked opponents. They also stopped Houston’s 33-game home winning streak, which was the longest in the nation.
The Cougars (27-2, 14-2) lost for the first time since Jan. 9 at Temple. It was their first home loss since March 15, 2017.
Corey Davis Jr. led Houston with 19 points, and reserve DeJon Jarreau finished with 15.
It was the Knights’ highest-ranked win on the road in school history. Central Florida’s 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Houston led for much of the first half, but costly turnovers and strong defense from Central Florida kept the game close. The Cougars carried a 33-28 lead into halftime.
Houston was held scoreless for the first five minutes after the break, and an 11-0 run put the Knights in front.
Houston: The Cougars had climbed their way to the school’s highest ranking in the AP poll since it reached No. 5 in the final 1983-84 poll. The loss snapped a 12-game winning streak against AAC opponents.
Central Florida: After struggling to find an offensive rhythm against Houston’s tough perimeter defense, the Knights went inside in the second half, scoring 20 in the paint in the second half compared with just 10 in the first half. UCF snapped a seven-game losing streak against ranked opponents.
Houston: Hosts SMU on Thursday.
UCF: Hosts No. 23 Cincinnati on Thursday.