ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Darius Johnson’s 15 points helped UCF defeat Wichita State 52-45 on Wednesday night to open American Athletic Conference play.

Johnson added five rebounds and four steals for the Knights (10-3). Taylor Hendricks scored nine points while going 4 of 11 (1 for 4 from distance), and added five rebounds. Brandon Suggs finished 4 of 5 from the field to finish with nine points.

Melvion Flanagan finished with 11 points for the Shockers (7-6). Jaron Pierre Jr. added seven points for Wichita State.

UCF led Wichita State at the half, 26-23, with Suggs (five points) their high scorer before the break. UCF outscored Wichita State by four points in the final half, while Johnson led the way with a team-high 12 second-half points.


The two teams both play Saturday. UCF visits Houston while Wichita State hosts East Carolina.