Daytona State completed the homecoming sweep of Central Florida on Saturday night, handing the Patriots an 81-75 defeat and knocking CF from the ranks of the Mid-Florida Conference unbeaten.
Central Florida (21-5, 3-1 MFC) shook off a 38-37 halftime deficit to build an 8-point lead with just under 9 minutes to play before folding down the stretch. The Patriots shook off their recent shooting woes, making 52 percent from the field and 12 of 24 from 3-point range, but were done in by struggles on the glass, allowing 23 offensive rebounds as the Falcons (17-6, 4-0) took 75 shots to CF's 56.
Ricardo Ratliffe scored 28 points on 12-for-18 shooting and added 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Justin Cecil was the only other Patriot in double figures with 12 points, including 3 shots from long range.
The loss puts CF at risk for falling into the conference tournament, which includes the MFC's second through fifth-place teams with the conference's second state tournament berth at stake. The Patriots, if both they and the Falcons win out, would have a chance to force a tie for the conference title on the last day of the season, a Feb. 17 visit to Daytona. Next up, CF hosts last-place FSC-Jacksonville on Feb. 6.
Visit the CF Patriots YouTube channel for highlights of this game.