Halted By The Hurricane

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – Junior Aliyah Gregory turned in a season-high 25 points, but it was not enough as UCF dropped a 73-62 decision to Tulsa in an American Athletic Conference contest in CFE Arena on Saturday afternoon.
UCF (12-7, 2-4 The American) fell behind early as Tulsa (6-13, 2-4 The American) jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Sophomore Tolulope Omokore drew the foul on a made basket and hit the free throw to put the Knights on the scoreboard. The Black and Gold chipped away, pulling within three, 17-14, at 1:18 on a pair of free throws by redshirt sophomore Nyala Shuler, but the Golden Hurricane took a 19-14 lead into the second quarter.
The Knights opened the second quarter with an 8-0 run to take a 22-19 lead. The Knights went up by as many as five points, 30-25, on a jumper from Gregory, and clung to a 30-29 edge heading into halftime.
Gregory scored the first bucket of the third quarter, but a 10-2 Tulsa run put the visitor's ahead by six, 44-38 with just over three minutes left in the frame. The Knights pulled within two, 44-42, on a pair of free throws from the Tampa, Fla., native, but Tulsa took a 46-42 edge into the final quarter.
Tulsa extended its lead to as many as 14 points, and held a 12-point advantage, 66-54, with 1:49 left to play. Back-to-back three-pointers from sophomore Kayla Thigpen cut the lead to six, 66-60, with 53 ticks left on the clock, but UCF was unable to get any closer as Tulsa held on for the 73-62 victory.
In addition to her 25 points, Gregory grabbed five boards and swiped a steal. Tolulope Omokore added 13 points. Sophomore Ashley Polacek dished out three assists, while junior Fifi Ndour and redshirt senior Joslyn Massey each swiped a pair of steals.
Next up, UCF welcomes Cincinnati on Jan. 24. The Black and Gold host the Bearcats at 7 p.m. on the American Digital Network.
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