UCF Falls to Alabama in Another Close One


Dec. 14, 2009

Box Score | Notes

By Andrew Gavin

Alabama at UCF
Dec. 14, 2009
Orlando, Fla. (UCF Arena)
Team 1st 2nd Final
Alabama 30 34 64
UCF 31 31 62

King, LaToya 5-12 2-2 12; Raffington, Varisia 5-11 0-0 12; Jenkins, Tierney 4-10 2-3 10; Hancock, Katie 4-4 0-0 9; Russell, Ericka 4-9 0-0 9; Williams, Tamara 2-7 1-2 5; Magee, Dedrea 2-6 0-0 4; Butler, Alyson 1-2 0-0 3; McCoy, Carmen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-61 5-7 64.

UCF (2-4)
Cannon, Emma 9-17 5-11 23; Carter, Gevenia 4-12 0-3 10; Daniels, D'Nay 4-6 2-2 10; White, Marshay 4-7 0-1 9; Patrick, Aisha 2-6 0-0 5; Wiley, Chelsie 2-5 0-0 4; Mealing, Angelica 0-3 1-3 1; Paige, Leah 0-0 0-0 0; Caldwell, Jelisa 0-0 0-0 0; Kelly, Ashia 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-57 8-20 62.

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - In many ways, UCF's performance Monday night against Alabama was drastically different than its previous two contests, losses against Washington and FAU. A more intense, spirited Knight team collected 14 steals and battled on both ends of the floor for the entire 40 minutes. After two-straight subpar performances, junior Emma Cannon (Rochester, N.Y.) exploded for game-highs of 23 points and 13 rebounds.

In others, it was more of the same as poor free throw shooting and missed opportunities in the paint led to a 64-62 setback to visiting Alabama (6-4) and the third-straight close loss for UCF (2-4). The glaring 8-for-20 performance at the line cost them in another close game. They have lost the last three games by just seven points combined, with the past two being two-point defeats.

Trailing 64-60, D'Nay Daniels (Atlanta, Ga.) cut the Alabama lead to two with 47 seconds left in the game with a driving layup. The UCF defense got a key stop and a Daniels' rebound to have a chance to tie or win the game with 11 seconds on the clock.

Out of a timeout, the Knights got the ball to sophomore Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.), whose drive to the basket was cut off. Junior Marshay White (Rochester, N.Y.) returned a pass to Patrick, but the guard's jumper fell short at the final horn.

It was one of the only things that did not work for Patrick as the guard turned in another impressive all-around performance. Patrick added eight rebounds, seven assists and a career-high six steals to her five points in 38 minutes of play.

Despite holding a slim one-point lead at the break, UCF found itself in a double-digit hole midway through the second half for the third-straight game when a pair of Tierney Jenkins free throws gave Alabama a 52-42 lead with 8:33 to play.

Freshman Gevenia Carter (Houston, Texas) capped a 10-2 run with a three to cut the deficit to two just three minutes later. The Knights would cut it to a pair on three more occasions, including at the final buzzer, but were never able to reclaim the lead.

Carter was a bright spot for head coach Joi Williams. Playing a career-high 24 minutes, Carter scored 10 points and added three steals, both highs for the season.

In the first half, Alabama took control of the game early, and LaToya King capped a 10-0 run to give the Crimson Tide a 25-14 lead with 8:09 on the clock.

Not wasting any time, the Knights responded by closing the half on a 15-3 run of their own to lead 31-30 at the break. Cannon had 13 points at the break for the Knights.

After shooting over 50 percent in the first half (13-25), UCF cooled off in the second half and finished the game at 43.9 percent (25-57). It was a similar story for the visitors, who were 13-for-26 in the opening half and finished at 44.3 percent (27-61).

Williams will point to the free-throw line as a major reason her team let the game slip away. Entering the game as one of Conference USA's best free-throw shooting teams, the Knights hit just 8-of-20 from the stripe, including a miserable 5-for-13 in the second half.

UCF will not have an easy task when trying to break its three-game slide Wednesday. The Knights host undefeated Florida State (8-0), a team ranked 10th in the Associated Press Top 25 and seventh in last week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. UCF fell at FSU 82-70 a season ago.

Season and single-game tickets are currently available with the UCF Ticket Office. Knight fans can purchase season tickets for each of the team's 14 home games for just $39. For more information on purchasing tickets, contact the UCF ticket office at (407) 823-1000.

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.