Tiger Tussle

STOCKTON, Calif. ( - The UCF women's basketball team fell short at Pacific on Wednesday evening, dropping a 78-74 decision in overtime at the Alex G. Spanos Center.

UCF (7-5) closed the first quarter with a 9-0 run to take a 24-15 edge after 10 minutes of action. Sophomore Korneila Wright gave the Knights their largest lead of the first half as she collected a steal and converted a fastbreak layup to make it 41-29 at the break.

Pacific (6-5) opened the third quarter with four quick points to trim the lead, and pulled within five, 45-40, with 4:35 left in the third frame. Senior Aliyah Gregory pushed the advantage back to double figures, 53-42, with 28 seconds left and the Knights held a 53-45 edge heading into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers continued to chip away at UCF's lead, evening the score at 53 at the 7:24 mark of the fourth quarter. Back-to-back baskets from freshman Masseny Kaba and redshirt senior Zakiya Saunders pushed the Black and Gold back in front, but a late push from Pacific again closed the gap. The Tigers hit a three-pointer with one tick left on the clock to send the game into overtime.

Pacific led by as many as six points, 72-66, with 1:04 remaining in extra time. Saunders pulled UCF within one, 75-74, on a three-point basket with 28 seconds remaining, but Pacific sank three free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

Korneila Wright led UCF with a career-high 22 points and tied her season-high with eight assists. Aliyah Gregory added 17 and collected a season-best seven rebounds. Zakiya Saunders chipped in 16 points and dished out seven assists. Masseny Kaba scored 12 points to go along with seven rebounds, and redshirt junior Nyala Shuler pulled down a team-leading eight rebounds.

UCF returns to Orlando to host Davidson on Dec. 28. The game is slated for a 2 p.m. start in CFE Arena. The Knights open American Athletic Conference action on Dec. 30, hosting Temple at 2 p.m.

The UCF women's basketball team is set for its second season under head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. Season tickets are on sale now for $40. Click here or call (407) 823-1000 for ticket information.

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