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Friday November 24th, 2017 9:54AM

UCF rallies to beat Mercer 88-79

By The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Ceasar DeJesus and Dayon Griffin scored 16 points apiece and the University of Central Florida rallied early in the second half to beat Mercer 88-79 in Friday night's season opener for both teams.

DeJesus made a layup and a dunk amid a 16-3 run the Knights used to open the second half and pulled away after trailing 47-46 at halftime. UCF led by as many as 16 the rest of the way.

A.J. Davis grabbed 15 rebounds, Chance McSpadden scored 13 points and B.J. Taylor added 12 points and four assists for the Knights, who shot 53.6 percent from the field to 41.1 percent for the Bears. Davis and Chad Brown had three blocks apiece.

UCF has won 14 of its last 15 season openers.

Ria'n Holland scored 21 of his 31 points in the first half for Mercer and made a career-high 6 of 11 3-pointers. Jordan Strawberry and Ethan Stair scored 12 apiece.

___

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