ORLANDO – The UCF women's basketball team shook off a slow start to post a 60-34 season-opening win over Virginia in Addition Financial Arena on Wednesday evening.
UCF (1-0) trailed Virginia (0-1) 13-5 after the first quarter of action. The Knights went on to outscore the Cavaliers 55-21 over the next three periods en route to the victory. The Black and Gold poured in 28 points in the second frame alone.
Defense has been a staple under UCF head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson and Wednesday was no different. The Knights forced Virginia into 30 turnovers, converting those into 27 points. After the Cavaliers opened the game shooting 50 percent from the field, the Black and Gold defense clamped down and did not allow Virginia to covert more than 37 percent of its shots in the remaining three quarters.
Diamond Battles finished with a career-high 17 points to lead UCF. The Winter Haven native shot 42.9 percent from the floor, dished a game-high seven assists and had five steals. Making her UCF debut after being cleared for immediate eligibility by the NCAA, Alisha Lewis added 13 points and had six assists off the bench.
Courtajia Sanders matched Battles with five steals and pulled down five rebounds to go along with nine points. Destiny Thomas grabbed five boards off the bench for the Knights.
- UCF is now 3-0 in season openers against ACC opponents under Coach ABE.
- The Knights are 4-1 overall in season openers during Coach ABE's tenure.
- Five Knights made their UCF debuts as Lewis, Asia Todd, Becca Ripley, Maniya Custis and Colleen Bucknor all saw action in the opener.
- Depth was key for the UCF as 13 Knights saw action, with nine of them scoring at least two points and seven collecting at least one rebound.
UCF returns to action on Dec. 4, traveling to LSU for the American Athletic Conference/SEC Challenge. The teams tip at 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network+.