UCF Loses Battle to No. 10/6 Florida State, 70-58


Dec. 16, 2009

Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery

By Andrew Gavin

No. 10/6 FSU at UCF
Dec. 16, 2009
Orlando, Fla. (UCF Arena)
Team 1st 2nd Final
No. 10/6 FSU 31 39 70
UCF 26 32 58

No. 10/6 FLORIDA STATE (9-0)
Cierra Bravard 4-6 4-4 12; Courtney Ward 3-6 4-5 12; Angel Gray 5-5 2-3 12; Alexa Deluzio 3-11 6-6 12; Jacinta Monroe 4-7 1-2 9; Chasity Clayton 2-6 2-2 6; Alysha Harvin 2-8 0-0 5; Chelsea Davis 1-1 0-0 2; Kayli Keough 0-0 0-0 0; Christian Hunnicutt 0-3 0-1 0. Totals 24-53 19-23 70.

UCF (2-5)
Cannon, Emma 5-17 6-6 16; Caldwell, Jelisa 5-7 0-0 12; White, Marshay 3-10 2-2 9; Carter, Gevenia 3-5 0-0 6; Daniels, D'Nay 2-7 2-2 6; Wiley, Chelsie 1-6 2-2 4; Mealing, Angelica 1-5 0-0 3; Patrick, Aisha 1-6 0-0 2; Kelly, Ashia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-63 12-12 58.

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The final result was the same as a season ago when UCF (2-5) played Florida State in Tallahassee, a 12-point Seminole victory. However, the 40 minutes of action that resulted in the 70-58 loss Wednesday night at the UCF Arena was far different than the Seminole's 82-70 win in 2008-09.

The host Knights' deficit was only five at the break and they were never out of the game, trailing by only single digits late until No. 10/6 FSU (9-0) put the game out of reach at the line.

Junior Emma Cannon (Rochester, N.Y.) posted game-highs of 16 points and 15 rebounds, her team bounced back from a tough game at the free-throw line against Alabama to hit all 12 of its attempts Wednesday, and the Knights outrebounded one of the country's best rebounding teams, 40-34.

For everything UCF did well Wednesday night, the Knights' shooting was not good enough to upset an experienced and undefeated highly-ranked FSU squad. UCF took 10 more shots than Florida State (63-53), but the Seminoles hit three more shots (24-21). On the perimeter, UCF's starting trio of guards combined to hit just 5-of-22 shots from the field.

For the most part, UCF head coach Joi Williams was pleased with her team's effort, and the third-year coach knows that her team is close to earning wins in games like Wednesday's contest.

"I think we are very close," said Williams. "We talked about it after the game that we played hard but we didn't necessarily play smart enough to win. I think we are right there. We can compete [with teams of the caliber of Florida State]. We have to expect to win when we take the floor, but we also must know that it is not going to be easy. We can't make silly mistakes and expect to win. Our team is getting there because it bothers them. Nobody likes to work this hard everyday and not win games. I think they will be hungry to come out and compete for a win on Sunday."

Florida State threatened to pull away in the first half, leading 15-7 on a Courtney Ward three with 11:10 left. However, UCF responded with a 10-2 spurt capped by an Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) steal and layup to tie the game at 17, and the Knights never really went away the rest of the way.

Cannon gave UCF its last lead of the night, 24-23, with a pair of free throws with 4:01 left in the half, but FSU closed with an 8-2 run to hold a 31-26 edge as the teams headed to the locker room.

Matching up at times with both 6-5 Cierra Bravard and 6-4 Jacinta Monroe, and All-ACC player, the 6-2 Cannon more than held her own in the scoring column and on the glass. She had eight points and nine rebounds at the half, and grabbed nine of her game-high 15 rebounds on the offensive end. However, for the Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year, it was more about what could have been. She hit all six of her free throws, but converted only 5-of-17 shots from the field.

"I know my role on my team, and I know I need to get in there and rebound. Whether on the offensive or defensive end, I need to do that for my team," said Cannon. "I just need to finish better to help us win. That is the biggest thing I need to improve on is finishing those opportunities and converting them into points."

After FSU had extended its lead to as many as 10 early in the second half, a jumper by junior Chelsie Wiley (Riviera Beach, Fla.) and four-straight points from Cannon left UCF down just 46-41 with 8:18 left in the game.

FSU struggled offensively for much of the night against UCF's matchup zone, but scored on five consecutive possessions after the Cannon free throws to increase its lead to 14 with just over five minutes to play.

UCF had a chance with 30 seconds left to cut the lead to five, but Wiley's three-pointer was blocked by Christian Hunnicutt, and FSU hit four-straight free throws for the final margin.

With the goal of putting a four-game losing streak behind them, the Knights will host Jackson State Sunday at 1 p.m.

"It is very important for us to get a win on Sunday," said Williams. "We need to take care of business. I think our team can play with anyone. If we come to play we can. If we do not, we are not very good. We just have to have everyone play for 40 minutes."

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.

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