Knights Sneak Past Bearcats in Midweek Matchup

CINCINNATI - UCF overcame an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to pull away with a 60-57 victory over Cincinnati on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Arena. The Knights (11-10, 2-7 AAC) shot a season-high 50% from behind the arc (5-10) and limited the Bearcats (8-15, 1-9 AAC) to 16% from the three-point line.

"I'm proud of our fight, we never gave up," said head coach Sytia Messer. "This was a quality team win and we fought until the end."

The Bearcats won the tip and executed by scoring the first basket of the game. Rachel Ranke led the Knights off with a three to put them on the board. The Bearcats went on a 6-0 run to take the lead 8-3. The Knights fought back with free throws to close the gap to one, 11-10. Cincinnati continued to score going 4-4 from the free throw line to give them a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Laila Jewett led the second quarter off with a jumper, the Bearcats answered back with a driving layup. The Black and Gold capitalized on turnovers from Cincinnati to go on a 4-0 spurt and shorten the Bearcats lead to three. Cincinnati fired back with another 5-0 scoring run, UCF answered back to head into the locker room with a three-point deficit, 28-25.
Kiera Brown came out on fire in the third quarter scoring four points (two free throws and one layup) in just one minute of play. The Bearcats fought back to take the lead to eight. UCF cut the lead down to one with just over one minute remaining in the third. Cincinnati quickly answered back with a three point just before the buzzer.
The Bearcats started out on a scoring frenzy to take the lead back up to eight, but the Knights answered back with a 12-2 run ignited by Sierra Godbolt going 2-2 at the free-throw line and kept the Bearcats in a scoring drought for four minutes. Ranke made a second chance three to knot it up 51-51 followed by going 2-2 at the free throw line to give the Knights a two-point advantage for the first time in game. The Bearcats followed up with a 4-0 run to try and come back but Jewett and Destiny Thomas each made a free throw to give the Knights a three-point lead with four seconds remaining. With one second left, Cincinnati tried to tie it up but the Knights came out with a 60-57 triumph.
Ranke led with 16 points going 4-6 from the arc and 4-4 from the charity stripe, while Thomas added 11 points. Sierra Godbolt and Jewett each recorded 10 points and two rebounds.
UCF continues its conference road swing, heading to Memphis for a Sunday matinee. The Knights and Tigers tip at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN+.