UCF Opens Cancun Challenge with 58-41 Win

Box Score (PDF)

RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico – The UCF women's basketball team shrugged off a slow start to open the Cancun Challenge with a 58-41 win over Idaho State at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya on Friday evening.
UCF (4-1) found itself down early as Idaho State (1-5) hit its first four shots to take a 10-4 advantage. The Bengals led by as many as eight points, 12-4, in the opening frame before the Knights settled in and cut the lead to two, 15-13, heading into the second period.
The Black and Gold put together an 8-0 spurt on baskets from Tay Sanders, Shania Meertens and Diamond Battles to close the second quarter and take the 27-24 advantage into halftime.
The Knights continued their run in the third quarter, scoring 10 unanswered to open the second half and take a 37-24 edge. The Bengals pulled with eight, 44-36, in the final period, but UCF never allowed Idaho State to get any closer down the stretch.
The UCF defense locked in once again as the Knights forced Idaho State into 28 turnovers. UCF finished with a season-high 15 steals as seven Knights finished with at least one steal.
Diamond Battles poured in a career-high 24 points, shooting 66.7 percent from the field. She also dished out four assists and collected a trio of steals. Brittney Smith joined Battles in double figures, adding 11 to go along with a team-high six rebounds. Alisha Lewis finished with a team-high four steals.

UCF returns to action on Saturday, facing USC at 4 p.m. at the Cancun Challenge.
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