UCF will try to notch another victory over a Southeastern Conference opponent when it faces Missouri in the Orange Bowl Classic on Saturday afternoon in Sunrise, Fla.

The Knights (8-2) posted their third straight win with a 72-61 victory at Ole Miss on Wednesday.

UCF scored the game’s first 21 points and then held off comeback bids by the Rebels during the second half. C.J. Kelly had 20 points after making 8 of 10 shots from the floor, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

“Anytime you go on the road and play a team of this caliber it’s going to be tough,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. “You don’t expect to go in and blow teams out on the road, especially this caliber of a team.

“We kept our composure, which is something we talked about before the game. We wanted to make sure we didn’t get lost in their runs and fight out of those runs and I feel like we did that.”

Forward Taylor Hendricks has team-leading averages in points (15.7) and rebounds (7.1). Kelly is averaging 10.7 points and Darius Johnson, who missed the first five games with a lower leg injury, is contributing 10.2.

The Knights recorded victories over Florida State and Oklahoma State earlier this season, so this neutral-site game presents another opportunity to build an at-large bid resume for the NCAA Tournament.

Missouri (9-1) is coming off Saturday’s deflating 95-67 loss at home to Kansas. The Tigers had been leading Division I teams in scoring with 93.0 points per game before that loss.

“We know that we did not make the shots that we’ve normally made,” Missouri coach Dennis Gates said. “We know that we didn’t defend how we have normally defended. We just have to go out there and see it and now learn from it and now apply it.”

After playing UCF, Missouri has games against nationally ranked Illinois (Thursday), Kentucky (Dec. 28) and Arkansas (Jan. 4).

“You don’t want a loss to turn into two or three losses because of something that is not being corrected from the previous game,” Gates said.

Missouri is led guard D’Moi Hodge (16.5 points per game) and forwards Kobe Brown (13.3 points, 5.8 rebounds) and Noah Carter (12.2, 5.2).

–Field Level Media