UCF Falls Short Against No. 4 UConn, 59-52

Box Score (PDF)

ORLANDO ( – The UCF women's basketball team put a strong effort together against No. 4 UConn but came up short as the Huskies came away with a 59-52 win in Addition Financial Arena on Thursday evening.
UCF (9-6, 1-2 The American) matched UConn (15-1, 6-0 The American) spurt for spurt in the opening 10 minutes, starting with an opening basket from Kay Kay Wright. The Huskies responded with a 7-0 run to take a 7-2 advantage, but the Black and Gold had an answer. Baskets from Wright, Sianni Martin and Brittney Smith pushed UCF ahead, 11-9 and the teams were knotted at 13-13 at the end of the first quarter.
A cold spell from the floor helped UConn outscore the Knights 16-3 in the second frame and the visitors took a 29-16 lead into the locker rooms. The Huskies extended their lead to as many as 18 points in the third quarter, but the Knights stayed locked in defensively and cut the deficit to a dozen with 39 seconds remaining and trailed 41-27 heading into the final quarter.
Showing its toughness, UCF opened the fourth quarter on an 8-3 run to pull within single digits, 44-35, and force UConn to call timeout with 7:26 left in the game. Out of the huddles, Wright hit a jump shot to pull within seven. The teams traded baskets before the Huskies pushed back out to double figures.
Again, the Knights refused to quit. A basket from Martin, followed by a steal and layup from Diamond Battles put UCF within eight, 57-49, with 26 seconds left. A trio of free throws from Wright set up the final score, 59-52.
Thursday marked just the second time that an American Athletic Conference team has come within single digits of the Huskies in the seven-year history of the league. It was also UConn's smallest margin of victory over the Knights in the 12-game series.
Kay Kay Wright led the Knights with 18 points and a pair of assists. Sianni Martin added 12 points for UCF. Masseny Kaba was just shy of a double-double with a team-leading 10 rebounds and nine points.
The Knights head to Tampa for their first War on I-4 matchup of the season. UCF and South Florida will tip at 3 p.m. in a game that airs on ESPN2.
The UCF women's basketball team is in its fourth season under head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. Purchase season tickets by clicking here or calling (407) 823-1000.    

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