Cruising By The Cougars

HOUSTON, Texas ( - UCF used a dominant third quarter performance to collect its first American Athletic Conference win on Wednesday evening, downing Houston 62-48 in Hofheinz Pavilion.

"I'm happy for (the team) because we worked on a lot of things in practice that pertained to that," head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said of the strong second half performance. "We talked about how we had to come out well defensively (in the third quarter). We held (Houston) to nine points and offensively we had 22, so that was a big quarter for us."

The teams played back-and-forth in the first two quarters, trading baskets and leads over the first 20 minutes of action. Houston found itself in front at the end of both the first and second quarter, but the Knights never let up and found their momentum in the second half.

UCF (11-6, 1-3 The American) held a 41-31 rebounding edge and used 17 offensive boards to score 14 second chance points. The Knights forced Houston (8-8, 1-2 The American) into 19 turnovers and converted those into 17 points. The Black and Gold dominated the paint, outscoring the Cougars 32-14.

Four Knights finished in double figures, led by senior Zykira Lewis who had 17 points. Redshirt senior Joslyn Massey posted a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Junior Aliyah Gregory added 11 points and three steals. Freshman Korneila Wright tied her career high in points (11) and assists (8).

Strong Second Half
* After Houston drove the length of the court to take a 26-25 advantage into halftime, the Knights went to work in the second half.
* UCF held the Cougars to just nine points in the third quarter and built up a lead by pouring in 22 points in the frame.
* The Knights continued to push in the fourth quarter, keeping a double digit lead over Houston for the remainder of the game. The Black and Gold never allowed the Cougars to get closer than 13 points in the final 10 minutes of action.
* For the first time this season, UCF rallied to earn a victory after trailing at halftime.

All-Around Effort
* Six Knights who saw game action on Wednesday finished with four or more points in the game, and four of those Knights finished in double figures.
* UCF was strong on the boards as well, with seven Knights collecting at least one rebound in the game.
* Seven Knights combined for 11 steals, bringing UCF's season total to 211. The Knights finished last season with 221 as a team.

Next up, UCF heads to East Carolina on Jan. 18. The Black and Gold are back in CFE Arena to host Tulsa at 1 p.m. on Jan. 21.

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