March 8, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - During his four years in Orlando, senior center Kenrick Zondervan (Hoofddorp, Holland) won fans over with his determination, hard work and emotions on the court. One play Saturday night against East Carolina epitomized Zondervan's time with the Knights.
With the Knights leading by two points with only five seconds to go at the UCF Arena, East Carolina's Sam Hinnant drove to the basket. A bucket would probably give the Pirates the win, and spoil senior night for Zondervan and guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.).
In typical fashion, Zondervan refused to let UCF lose the game. The big man stepped in to take the charge, and Hinnant was whistled for the offensive foul. Sophomore guard Taylor Young (Orlando, Fla.) then knocked down two free throws to secure the comeback win for the Knights. East Carolina led by 17 points early in the second half.
After official Kevin Mathis made the call on Hinnant, Zondervan, still on the ground, celebrated in elation.
"They usually don't call that at the end of the game," he said. "It is usually a blocking foul. He called it and I was just going crazy. I was like, `yes, we got the game.' It was an indescribable feeling."
Head coach Kirk Speraw was certainly pleased with the call and Zondervan's effort to stop Hinnant.
"I think the charge was critical. I thought the kid was going to get to the hole. I thought that was a huge part of the game."
The contest served as the regular-season finale for the Knights. UCF has earned the No. 6 seed at the Conference USA Championship and will meet No. 11 Southern Miss in the opening round in Memphis, Tenn., Wednesday. Tip-off from the FedEx Forum is set for 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.
: Taylor led all players with 36 points in the win. He pushed his C-USA scoring average to 29.1 points, good for a new league record... Former UCF center Stanley Billings
attended the game last night. Billings played for the Knights from 2006-08... Also in attendance was UCF signee Keith Clanton. The post player, who inked a National Letter of Intent with the Knights in the fall, led Orlando Christian Prep to its second-straight Florida Class 1A state title on Friday. He recorded 16 points and 14 boards in the final game win over Grandview Prep.