Knights Rally To Top Tulane, 69-67

Coach Abe Press Conference Masseny Kaba & Diamond Battles Presser Box Score (PDF)

ORLANDO – The captains led the way for the UCF women's basketball team in a 69-67 win over Tulane in American Athletic Conference action in Addition Financial Arena on Wednesday evening.
The captain trio of Masseny Kaba, Tay Sanders and Diamond Battles combined for 57 of UCF's 69 points. They combined to shoot 63.2 percent from the field and Sanders and Battles combined to shoot 50 percent from deep. Battles led the way with 21 points; Sanders added 19 and Kaba finished with a season-high 17.
After a 5-0 start to the game, UCF (13-3, 5-1 AAC) suddenly found itself down by 13 points after the first 10 minutes of play. Tulane (11-7, 3-4 AAC) held a 22-9 lead, outscoring the Black and Gold 17-2 in the final six minutes of the first quarter.
The Knights chipped away at the Green Wave's lead, and a 12-2 run over a two-minute stretch pulled UCF within one, 28-27, with 2:43 left in the second period. Tulane extended its lead back to seven, 36-29, as the teams headed into the locker rooms at halftime.
The visitors pushed their lead back to double digits in the opening minutes of the second half but Diamond Battles closed the third quarter on a 6-0 run by herself to pull the Black and Gold within three, 51-48, going into the final frame.
A 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter – and a 13-0 run dating back to the third quarter – saw UCF gain its first lead since the six-minute mark of the first quarter. A pair of Tulane free throws briefly saw the Green Wave reclaim the lead, but a three-pointer from Alisha Lewis put UCF back in front for good. The Knights held off a late Tulane push to complete the regular season sweep of the Green Wave.
Alisha Lewis dished out eight assists to go along with her eight points. Brittney Smith added six points of her own while Destiny Thomas pulled down six rebounds.
As a team, the Knights finished the game shooting 54.7 percent from the field and had a season-high 20 assists on 29 field goals.
Next up, UCF heads to Wichita State on Jan. 29 for its first meeting against the Shockers. The game tips at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN+. The Knights then have a quick turnaround, returning to Orlando to host Temple on Monday, Jan. 31 at 3 p.m. in Addition Financial Arena.
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