Frantic Finish Sees UCF Outlast UAB


Feb. 24, 2011

Final Stats

UCF 53, UAB 50

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By Pat Salvas

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's basketball team edged UAB in the final minute of play for a 53-50 Conference USA victory Thursday night at Bartow Arena. The win was the sixth in a row for the Knights (17-10, 10-4 C-USA), who move into second place all alone in the league standings with a loss by Rice to Tulane Thursday night.

The six-game win streak is the longest by UCF is two years, dating back to the 2008-09 season that saw the Knights use a seven-game run to claim the conference tournament crown.

Leading by four, 51-47, with 20 seconds to play, the Blazers' Amanda Peterson connected on a 3-pointer to bring her team to within a point. On the subsequent inbounds play, UAB's defense forced the Knights into a turnover to get the ball back.

UAB (14-13, 6-8) had an opportunity to take the lead, but a traveling violation by guard Amber Jones on the way to the hoop gave UCF the ball. A foul led to two free throws by senior Chelsie Wiley (Riviera Beach, Fla.) with two seconds left to seal the win.

Sophomore Gevenia Carter (Houston, Texas) was the top scorer and the only player in double figures for the Knights, finishing with 10 points. Senior Guard Jelisa Caldwell (Macon, Ga.) finished with eight points and eight rebounds, one shy of her career high of nine set in Sunday's win over ECU.

The first half produced little scoring as the teams were tied 18-18 headed into the break. The 36 points combined were the lowest in any half this season by UCF and an opponent.

Coming out of the break, the Knights' offensive began to click as they jumped out to a 31-23 lead with seven straight points from junior Ashia Kelly (Longview, Texas) to start the half. Senior D'Nay Daniels Atlanta, Ga.) also added four points in the 13-5 run to open the frame. Kelly finished the game with nine points and seven rebounds.

The Knights have now won three straight conference road games to improve to 4-3 away from the UCF Arena in league play this season.

UAB's Jones led all players with 16 points, while Peterson's 15 points were second.

"This team showed a lot of character down the stretch," UCF Director of Athletics Keith Tribble said following the win. "Coach Williams kept her team composed when the game was on the line. This is a special team that is capable of great things in March."

UCF outrebounded the Blazers, 39-38, improving to 15-3 when pulling down more boards than its opponents. The Knights outshot UAB, 36.5 percent (19-52) to 32.7 percent (18-55), in the game.

UCF will wrap up the quick two-game road trip with a Sunday afternoon tilt at Southern Miss. The Knights and Golden Eagles are set to tip-off at 2 p.m. EST, from the Reed Green Coliseum.