Knights Knock Off No. 24 South Florida

Coach ABE Press Conference Tay Sanders and Diamond Battles Presser Box Score (PDF)

ORLANDO – The UCF women's team jumped out to an early lead over No. 24 South Florida and never looked back, claiming the first War on I-4 victory, 67-51, in Addition Financial Arena on Sunday afternoon.
UCF (12-2, 4-0 The American) handed South Florida (12-5, 2-1) its first conference loss of the season and picked up its first win over a ranked opponent this season.
The Black and Gold wasted no time, scoring seven unanswered in the first two minutes and change. The Bulls were able to pull within two, 15-13, with just over two minutes remaining in the period. The UCF forwards went to work, with Destiny Thomas and Brittney Smith each tallying a bucket to put the Knights on top 19-13 after the first period.
UCF doubled up South Florida's scoring in the second frame, 18-9, to push out to a double-figure lead and held a 37-22 edge at halftime. The Knights poured in 18 points in the third quarter to balloon their lead over 20 points, 55-34, heading into the final 10 minutes.
South Florida made a run in the fourth quarter to pull within 10 points, 61-51, with 2:28 remaining, but the UCF defense came through once again, holding the Bulls scoreless for the remainder of the contest.
A trio of Knights finished in double figures, led by Diamond Battles' 19 points. The Winter Haven, Fla., native shot 50 percent from the field and was 3-4 from deep. Tay Sanders added 18 points, shooting 63.6 percent from the field.
Alisha Lewis chipped in 12 points with six assists and four steals. Masseny Kaba collected all six of her team-leading rebounds on the offensive glass.
While the Bulls held a 31-29 rebounding edge, UCF had the advantage in second chance points. The Knights used 14 offensive rebounds to score 13 points.
As a team, UCF shot 49.1 percent from the field and four Knights finished shooting 50 percent or better from the floor. The Black and Gold shot 52 percent or better in each of the first three quarters.
Next up,UCF heads to SMU for a midweek matchup against the Mustangs on Jan. 19.
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