Taking Down Temple

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF women's basketball team opened American Athletic Conference play with a 76-46 win over Temple in CFE Arena on Saturday afternoon.
"We set the tempo at the beginning of the game," UCF head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said. "It was our defense. We drew fouls; we keyed in on (Temple's key players)."
UCF (9-5, 1-0 The American) took control from the tip and never looked back. Aliyah Gregory sank a pair of free throws just 19 seconds into the game, and the Knights maintained a lead over the next 39 minutes of play. Temple (8-5, 0-1 The American) pulled within eight points, 30-22, with 3:58 left in the second quarter, but an 11-3 run from the Black and Gold pushed the UCF advantage back to double figures heading into the locker room. The Knights kept a double-digit lead over Temple the entire second half.
Four Knights finished in double figures, led by Aliyah Gregory's 19 points. Zakiya Saunders added 17 points, collected seven rebounds and dished out five assists. Masseny Kaba chipped in 13 points, and Nyala Shuler added a season-best 12 points. Kayla Thigpen led the Knights on the board, pulling down five of her career-high eight rebounds on the offensive end. Korneila Wright recorded a game-high four steals.
The Knights topped Temple for the first time in The American.

  • UCF won the first meeting between the programs, an 84-66 decision on Dec. 28, 1995.
  • The Owls had won all seven previous meetings since the squads joined The American.
  • The 30-point win marked the largest margin of victory in the series. The previous best was a 75-54 (21 points) Temple win in 2014.

The defense continued to step up.

  • For the eighth time in the last nine games, UCF held its opponent at or below 59 points.
  • The Knights are 5-0 when holding their opponents below the 50-point mark.
  • UCF collected 14 steals in the victory, marking the seventh time this season that the Knights have swiped double-figure steals.
  • The Knights held Temple to just 46 points, well below the Owl's season average of 69.8 points per contest.

UCF won its conference opener for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign.

  • The Knights improved to 3-2 in The American openers.
  • UCF won its first two conference matchups but dropped its next two. Saturday marked the first time that the Knights opened league play with a win in CFE Arena.
  • The Black and Gold opened with wins over Houston in the first two seasons in the league.

UCF heads to SMU for an American Athletic Conference matchup in Dallas. The Knights and the Mustangs will tip off at 8 p.m. ET in Moody Coliseum.
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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