Knights Come Up Short at Temple


PHILADELPHIA  The UCF women's basketball team came up short in a battle of unbeaten American Athletic Conference squads, dropping a 61-58 decision to Temple in Pearson & McGonigle Hall on Saturday afternoon.
UCF (5-2, 3-1 AAC) trailed Temple (4-3, 4-0 AAC) early, but closed the first quarter on a 9-0 run – capped off with a three-pointer from Asia Todd – to lead 12-7 after the first frame.
The Owls opened the second quarter on a 7-2 spurt to tie the game at 14, and went ahead by five points, 23-18, with 4:33 remaining. The Knights chipped away, and Brittney Smith knotted the teams at 23-23, but Temple carried a 26-24 advantage into the locker rooms.
The home team built its lead in the third period and held a 47-40 edge heading into the fourth. UCF began to rally, cutting the deficit to three, 52-49, on baskets from Courtajia Sanders and Masseny Kaba. Brittney Smith made it a one-point game, 57-56, with just under a minute remaining, but Temple converted on all four of its free throw attempts down the stretch to hold off the Knights.
The Knights held the rebounding edge, 39-34, and outscored the Owls 32-26 in the paint.
Brittney Smith led UCF with a season-high 17 points and nine rebounds. Courtajia Sanders added 14 points with three assists. Diamond Battles had four assists and Alisha Lewis led the Knights with three steals.
UCF continues its road swing, heading to ECU on Jan. 13.
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