Runnin' By Gardner-Webb

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - A 12-0 first quarter run provided a spark for the UCF women's basketball team. The Knights improved to 8-2 on the season with a 66-52 win over Gardner-Webb in CFE Arena on Saturday afternoon.

"I talked today about doing something that (the team) didn't do last year - win eight games," head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said. "In order to win eight games, to do something different that you haven't done before, you're going to have to do something better today."

Trailing 11-8, the Knights scored 12 unanswered in the first quarter to take a 20-11 lead on a layup from sophomore Tolulope Omokore with 1:27 left in the frame. UCF continued to build on its lead in the second quarter, extending to a 22 point advantage, 42-20, on a jumper from senior Zykira Lewis with 1:15 remaining in the half. Sophomore Kayla Thigpen gave the home team a 44-22 edge heading to the locker rooms by sinking a shot at the buzzer.

The Knights kept a double-digit advantage the entire second half en route to their eighth win of the season. UCF improved to 5-1 in CFE Arena this season.

Zykira Lewis recorded her third 20-point performance of the season to lead the Knights. The Bartow, Fla., native had a game-high six steals and five assists. Junior Aliyah Gregory and Tolulope Omokore joined Lewis as the trio in double figures. Gregory added 13 while Omokore chipped in 11 to go along with nine rebounds. Redshirt sophomore Nyala Shuler grabbed nine boards, and freshman Korneila Wright dished out five assists.

Full First Half
* Taking a 44-22 lead into the locker room, UCF tallied its most first-half points this season.
* The Knights shot 52.9 percent in the first half, while limiting Gardner-Webb to just 28 percent.
* The Black and Gold forced the Runnin' Bulldogs into 15 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of action, converting them into 21 points.
* Spreading the ball around, eight Knights scored in the first half. Lewis led the way with 13.
* UCF limited Gardner-Webb to just nine points in the second quarter, while the Runnin' Bulldogs shot just 15.4 percent from the field.

* Senior Zykira Lewis led the Knights with 20 points, her third time reaching the mark this season.
* The Bartow, Fla., native became the fifth Knight in school history to reach 1,500 career points with her first basket of the game - a three-pointer.
* Lewis is now tied for fourth all-time with 1,517 points and, with three treys on Saturday, moved to 210 career three-pointers. She is within three of the school record (213).

UCF hits the road for the final time in non-conference action, facing Georgia Southern on Dec. 17. Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. Statesboro, Ga. The Knights return to CFE Arena on Dec. 20 to host Omaha at 2 p.m. and close non-conference play on Dec. 28 when UC Davis comes to town for a 7 p.m. contest.

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