Shutting Down SMU

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – A full-game, complete team effort led UCF to a 63-37 win over SMU on Saturday afternoon in CFE Arena. The Knights won their sixth straight American Athletic Conference matchup with the victory over the Mustangs.
"I'm just so happy for the team," head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said. "They bought into the hard work and the hard work worked. They've really bought into defense. They like the way the message has been the same all the time."
UCF (19-9, 9-6 The American) held SMU (15-13, 6-9 The American) to just seven points in the first quarter and led 17-7 after the first 10 minutes of action.
When the teams met in Dallas on Feb. 4, UCF scored just three points in the second quarter. Determined not to repeat that performance, the Knights poured in 20 points in the second frame to take a 37-13 lead into the locker room.
The Black and Gold led by at least 18 points at all times in the second half. UCF pushed out to its largest lead of the day, 62-35, on a jumper from sophomore Kayla Thigpen with 3:13 left to play, and finished strong down the stretch.
Senior Zykira Lewis led all scorers with 24 points and had a game-high six steals. Junior Aliyah Gregory added 12 points and junior Fifi Ndour chipped in 11. Redshirt sophomore Nyala Shuler grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and freshman Korneila Wright dished out six assists.
• Zykira Lewis filled up the stat sheet on Saturday. In addition to her 24 points, she swiped six steals, dished out four assists and grabbed three rebounds.
• The Bartow, Fla., native added another accolade to her highly decorated career at the 8:56 mark of the third quarter. With her second three-pointer of the day, she has now made the most treys of any Knight, men or women, in UCF history.
• Not quite finished, the senior added three more from beyond the arc to bring her total to five on the day. She now has 255 three-pointers and counting.
Dominant Defense
• Limiting SMU to 37 points on the day, the Knights have held 18 opponents under 60 points this season.
• UCF forced the Mustangs into 21 turnovers, which the Knights converted into 26 points.
• Despite SMU collecting 10 offensive rebounds, the Black and Gold limited the Mustangs to just four second chance points.
• UCF held the edge on the glass for the 26th game this season, outrebounding SMU 33-23 in the game.
Next up, UCF concludes the regular season hosting No. 23 Temple on Monday evening. Zykria Lewis and Joslyn Massey will be recognized following the game, which is slated for a 7 p.m. tip.
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