Dominant Defensive Effort

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF women's basketball team rallied in the second half and held No. 1 UConn to its lowest scoring output in a 55-37 loss on Wednesday evening in CFE Arena.

"I never want (my team) to quit," UCF head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. "I don't care what the score is. I want them to fight through the whole game for 40 minutes, because you just never know what's going to happen. I'm very proud of them. The first half wasn't good; the second half we came out and really fought."

UCF (16-8, 8-3 The American) entered Wednesday's contests with the fifth-ranked scoring defense in the nation, holding opponents to 53.7 points per contest. UConn (23-0, 11-0 The American) entered the matchup leading the nation with an average of 91.3 points per game.

The Huskies looked to be on pace for their average after pouring in 21 points in the first quarter and adding 16 in the second to take a 37-12 lead into the locker room.

The UCF defense stepped up to the challenge in the second half, holding the Huskies to 11 points in the third quarter, and entered the final frame trailing 48-20.

A record-setting crowd of 6,155 saw UCF outscore UConn 13-2 over the final 5:57, and 17-7 in the fourth quarter.

Four Knights combined to score UCF's 17 fourth quarter points, including a six-point effort from Korneila Wright. The final score of 55-37 marked the smallest margin of victory for the Huskies in the all-time series.

The Huskies' previous season low came in a 75-71 victory against Texas on Jan. 15. The Knights held UConn to its lowest scoring since joining The American in 2013-14.

Zakiya Saunders led UCF with 13 points, accounting for five of UCF's 10 assists, and collected a trio of steals. Korneila Wright added 12 points with three assists and three steals for the Black and Gold. Nyala Shuler grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, while Jamesha Paul pulled down five boards.

UCF heads to Philadelphia to face Temple on Feb. 10. The teams will tip off at 2 p.m. and the game will air on the American Digital Network.

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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