Strong Free Throw Showing Lifts Women's Basketball to Win at Southern Miss


Feb. 16, 2012

Box Score

Box Score

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By Jenna Marina

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's basketball team did not waste its numerous opportunities at the free throw line, converting 26-of-30, to top Southern Miss on Thursday evening in a 74-60 win at Reed Green Coliseum.

Senior Aisha Patrick sank a career-high 13-of-14 from the charity stripe, falling one free throw shy of a school record. The Knights (12-12, 7-5 C-USA) derailed the Golden Eagles' (9-16, 3-9 C-USA) three-game win streak for their seventh-straight win over Southern Miss.

"At halftime, we talked about the fact that we had only shot two free throws in the first half and that was not acceptable, especially on the road. We have to get easy baskets somehow," UCF head coach Joi Williams said. "We talked about being more aggressive, getting to the free throw line and we did that in the second half."

Redshirt junior Kayli Keough tallied a career-high 24 points thanks to a 10-of-17 showing from the field. With 18 points - all in the second half - Patrick finished the game one rebound shy of a double-double.

Junior guard Gevenia Carter also tallied double figures with 13 points while freshman Andrea Hines matched her career highs in assists (7) and rebounds (10). Sophomore Erika Jones also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.

Keough opened the game with a baseline jumper before converting a three-point play, and accounted for much of the team's offense in the first half with 17 of its 29 points.

UCF was primed to head into halftime with a two-point lead, but when Hines rebounded Jamierra Faulkner's air-balled three-point attempt, she tried to avoid stepping out of bounds on the baseline and threw the ball into Niesha Pierce's hands. Pierce chipped in a bucket before the buzzer sounded to knot the score at 29 apiece.

"We didn't close out the first half like we wanted to, and credit Southern Miss -- they've got a very good team and pushed the ball right back at us and played hard tonight," Williams said. "I was proud of the way we responded in the second half and of our effort defensively."

UCF climbed back out to a 48-41 edge with 11:44 to go in the game when Patrick went to work at the free throw line. Patrick sliced through the lane time after time to draw fouls and sank seven-consecutive free throws.

She continued to command the reins with a three-pointer and another jumper for a total of 12-straight points for the Knights and a 53-46 lead with 8:43 remaining.

The Golden Eagles cut the deficit to a single-possession, 53-50, when Tanecka Carey laid in a fast break layup, but Carter drained a three-pointer on UCF's next possession to spark the Knights on an 11-0 run and cruised the rest of the way.

UCF returns to Orlando on Sunday when the Knights host Memphis at 2 p.m. for the Komen Pink Game. All fans who wear pink will gain free admission to the game.

The IMG Sports Network will broadcast all of UCF's games live on UCFAthletics.com with a subscription plan. Scott Adams will provide the play-by-play. Live stats are also available via UCFAthletics.com.