TAMPA, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – A victory and three War on I-4 points were picked up by the UCF women’s basketball team on Tuesday evening. The Knights defeated South Florida 62-49 in the Yuengling Center.
UCF (13-2, 2-0 The American) handed USF (10-6, 1-1 The American) its first home loss of the season, while picking up just the second victory in Tampa in program history.
The Knights fell behind 7-3 less than three minutes into the game, but a four-point spurt from Kay Kay Wright pulled the Knights even at 7-7 with 5:30 left in the first quarter. The Bulls reclaimed the lead, but a 9-0 run from the Black and Gold put them in front 16-10 with just over a minute left in the frame. The Knights held an 18-15 advantage after the first quarter.
Neither team was able to find an offensive rhythm in the second quarter and the Knights took a 29-28 lead into the locker room.
UCF outscored the Bulls 9-2 to open the third quarter and led by as many as eight points on two occasions in the frame. The Knights took a 43-40 edge into the final 10 minutes of play.
Defense was key for the Black in Gold in the final quarter. UCF held South Florida to just nine points and forced the Bulls into five turnovers. The Knights were also aggressive offensively, going to the line 15 times and getting 11 of their 19 points in the quarter at the charity stripe.
Kay Kay Wright registered her sixth 20-point outing of the season, leading all scorers with 20 points. Kayla Thigpen added 13 and collected five of her nine fourth quarter points at the free throw line. Diamond Battles turned in a career performance, scoring 10 points while grabbing eight rebounds. Nyala Shuler also pulled down eight boards for the Knights.
Just Keep Winning
- UCF continues to make history, improving to 13-2 on the season.
- The Knights have won three straight, with all of those victories coming on the road.
- Tuesday’s victory marked UCF’s second-ever in Tampa, and the first over the Bulls since a road win on Feb. 14, 2017.
- UCF’s 13-point win marked its largest margin of victory over the Bulls since a 76-56 win on Jan. 26, 1980.
- The Knights improved to 9-2 away from home this season.
War on I-4
- The win on the hardwood added three points to UCF’s War on I-4 total, giving the Knights a 27-6 lead in the 2018-19 rivalry series.
- Women’s basketball picked up its first points in the rivalry series since claiming all six in the lone meeting during the 2016-17 campaign.
- The next points up for grabs will be when the squads meet again in Orlando on Feb. 3.
After a five-game stretch on the road, the Knights return to CFE Arena to host Cincinnati on Sunday. The noon contest will air on ESPNU.
GET THE APP
Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Knights app right to your iOS or Android phone! The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news.