Knights Unable to Overcome No. 23 Bulls

ORLANDO - The UCF women's basketball team came up short in the second matchup against No. 23 South Florida in the War on I-4 Wednesday evening inside Addition Financial Arena. The Bulls (23-5, 12-1 AAC) took control in the first quarter and never relinquished it, beating the Knights (11-12, 2-9 AAC), 73-44.

"We're gonna take it one game at a time and see what the next one brings," said UCF head coach Sytia Messer. "When you look at it, we have so many new players and so many players who haven't had a ton of experience playing in a college season. The thing is just getting hot when we can and having a sense of urgency."

The Knights had a tough game offensively, as UCF shot just 22.4% from the floor. In contrast, USF, which leads the American Athletic Conference in numerous offensive categories including field goal percentage, connected on 29 of its 61 shots (47.5%).
After suffering their first and only conference loss of the season in their last outing, the Bulls started the game on a 5-0 run, but the Knights fought back and knotted the score at 9-9 following a three-pointer from Rachel Ranke. USF answered with an 8-0 run to close out the first quarter with a 17-9 lead, capped by a three-pointer and a free throw from Elena Tsineke.
South Florida continued to fire on all cylinders in the second quarter, connecting on five three-pointers and shooting 50% from the field in the first half. The Bulls held the Knights to only 15 points at the half, a season low in a half for the Knights.
Down big in the third quarter, the Knights fought to get back into the game by applying full-court pressure. The Black and Gold forced seven turnovers in the third quarter and 18 for the game, the second most UCF has forced in a conference game this season. Despite the turnovers, USF shot a blistering 62.5% in the third quarter and went on to win the game to claim the season sweep over the Knights.
Kiera Brown had a game-high eight points, tying her season high with all of them in the second half. Brown made all six of her free-throw attempts, while adding five rebounds and two steals. Sierra Godbolt had seven points in the game and tallied two assists and two rebounds.

The Knights will head to East Carolina this weekend for a matchup with the Pirates at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18.