Women's Basketball Drops Opener at Florida, 77-67


Box Score

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By Pat Salvas

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Junior Ashia Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) scored a game-high 19 points as the UCF women's basketball team pushed Florida late in the second half of Saturday's Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament at the O'Connell Center. The Knights stormed back in the final minutes, but could not overcome the deficit, falling to the Gators, 77-67, in the season opener for both teams.

UCF will now move on to the Consolation Round of the Preseason WNIT, while Florida will host Charlotte Monday night after it dispatched Iona, 72-40, Saturday evening. The remainder of the bracket will be released Sunday, Nov. 14 upon the completion of all first-round action.

Patrick led all scorers with her 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. She was joined by three teammates also in double digits. Senior D'Nay Daniels (Atlanta, Ga.) scored 14, while fellow senior Chelsie Wiley (Riviera Beach, Fla.) added 12. Daniels also led the Knights with seven rebounds

Sophomore Gevenia Carter (Houston, Texas) eclipsed her previous career high of 10 points, set last season against Alabama, with 12 on Saturday. Carter's layup with under two and a half minutes remaining in the second half pulled her team to within five.

The Knights' defense was the early factor, causing the Gators into turnovers on seven of their first 10 possessions. But, the early lead that UCF had built would dwindle in the final minutes of the first half as Florida would use a 23-8 run to take the 39-29 lead into half.

The Gators would build their lead to as much as 18 in the second half and hold on for the win, despite a late run by the Knights to cut the lead to five with 2:25 remaining.

That would be as close as UCF would get as Florida hit free-throws down the stretch to secure the win.

The Gators were led by a team-high 15 points from Jaterra Bonds. Jennifer George and Deaundra Young both came off the bench to lead Florida with eight rebounds each. Azania Stewart had a game-high four blocks to go along with nine points and five rebounds.

For the game, the Knights shot 33.8 percent (26-77), while Florida connected on 41.0 percent (25-61) of its shots from the floor. UCF was outrebounded, 54-41, in the game.

Patrick's third steal moved her into 10th all-time in program history with 142 in her career. Wiley also recorded three steals in the game.

The next game for UCF will be on Friday, Nov. 19.