UCF Earns 55-46 Win Over Houston

Box Score (PDF)

ORLANDO – The UCF women's basketball team opened 2021 in the win column, earning a 55-46 win over Houston in American Athletic Conference action in Addition Financial Arena on Sunday afternoon.
UCF (5-1, 3-0 The American) put together solid second half to hand Houston (5-2, 2-1 The American) its first conference loss of the season.
The Knights jumped out to an early 5-2 advantage, but the Cougars responded and used an 8-0 run to take the lead with just over 90 seconds remaining in the frame. Houston held a slight 13-11 edge after the first 10 minutes.
Neither team was able to get in an offensive rhythm in the second quarter, as both teams shot under 30 percent from the floor. The Cougars were able to take a 23-19 advantage into the break.
Houston looked to pull away in the third quarter as Knights found themselves down by seven points, 35-28, with 2:40 left in the frame. However, six quick points from Diamond Battles and Courtajia Sanders pulled the Black and Gold within one point, 35-34, with 1:52 remaining. Twenty seconds later, Brittney Smith put the home team in front off a Houston turner. The Knights led 38-37 heading into the final 10 minutes.
The teams traded leads in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Destiny Thomas pushed the UCF advantage to three points, 44-41, heading into the final media timeout. Free throws from Sanders and Battles, along with a timely three-pointer from Alisha Lewis gave UCF a double-digit edge with 1:42 left to play. Four points from Sanders down the stretch held off the late Houston push to give UCF its third conference victory of the season.
Overall, UCF outscored Houston 36-23 in the second half. The Knights forced the Cougars into 28 turnovers and converted those into 28 points.
Courtajia Sanders posted a game-high 17 points to go along with a career-best 10 rebounds in her first double-double performance as a Knight. She added a game-high three steals for UCF. Diamond Battles added 13 points with a career-high two blocks. Brittney Smith made it a trio of Knights in double figures as she added 12 points.
UCF begins a two-game road swing at Temple on Jan. 9. The Knights make the trip to face ECU on Jan. 13.
Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Gameday app right to your iOS or Android phone. The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news. Click here to download the app now.