March 4, 2014
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By Jenna Marina
DALLAS, Texas (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF women's basketball team put forth a valiant effort, but foul trouble proved to be the Knights' downfall in Tuesday morning's 79-67 loss to SMU in the regular season finale.
The Mustangs were sent to the free throw line 24 times and converted 87.5 percent of their attempts, including a near-automatic 17-of-18 performance in the second half.
UCF freshman Zykira Lewis notched her eighth-straight game of double figures, leading the Knights in scoring for the sixth-straight outing with 21 points. It marked her third 20-point game of the season.
Junior guard Andrea Hines contributed 11 points, senior Sara Djassi added 10 points and freshman Jordan Jackson matched her career high 7 points while junior Brittni Montgomery grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds.
Finally getting to tip off after inclement weather pushed the game from Monday evening to Tuesday morning, the league's leading scorer, Keena Mays, got her team off to a hot start by accounting for seven points of the Mustangs' 9-0 game-opening run.
Lewis checked in to generate some offense for the Knights but Mays was at it again, sinking back-to-back 3-pointers for a 27-15 lead with less than eight minutes to play. UCF cut the deficit down to single digits by halftime, 34-26, as Montgomery capped the half with a putback thanks to a tip from Erika Jones.
The Knights started clicking on both ends of the floor, swiping three steals in the first four minutes and bringing down some big offensive rebounds for second-chance layups. UCF managed to cut it to 50-45 after Lewis came up with a steal in press defense and finished for a layup in transition.
Mays responded with a timely and-1 with 12:38 to go but Jones matched with one of her own. From there, the whistle repeatedly sounded to put the Mustangs on the line, where they converted 11 in a row to ice the game.
The Knights set their sights on the American Athletic Conference tournament. As the No. 9 seed, UCF will face No. 8 seed Cincinnati on ESPN3 at 6 p.m. in Friday's first round matchup at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.