Bittersweet Battle

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (UCFKnights.com) - A historic season for the UCF women's basketball team came to an end in the second round of the WNIT on Sunday afternoon. The Knights dropped an 80-61 decision to Alabama in Coleman Coliseum.

UCF finished with a 22-11 overall record, matching the program-best for wins in a season since becoming a member of Division I.

The Knights jumped out to a 4-0 lead on jumpers from Korneila Wright and Aliyah Gregory, but Alabama (19-13) rallied to take a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Kayla Thigpen drained a three-pointer to open the second quarter, but the Crimson Tide responded with a 9-0 spurt to push out to a 23-15 advantage. Alabama held a 34-26 edge heading into the locker room and maintained its advantage for the remainder of the way.

Zakiya Saunders led the way with a game-high 19 points, closing out her career with 1,075 points, and dished out a pair of assists. Korneila Wright added 14 and swiped a game-high four steals. Kayla Thigpen added 12 points and Nyala Shuler grabbed seven rebounds.

In her final game as a Knight, Aliyah Gregory scored seven points to go along with two assists and a pair of steals. She ended her time at UCF ranked sixth all-time in scoring with 1,437 points.

Building on another milestone season under head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, the Knights made their second consecutive postseason appearance for the first time in program history. At 12-4, UCF earned its highest seed in the American Athletic Conference to earn a bye in the conference tournament for the second straight season.