Women's Hoops Suffers Loss to Kansas on Senior Knight

by Maddie Glass

ORLANDO - Laila Jewett and Kaitlin Peterson each scored in double-digits but the UCF women’s basketball team (12-15, 3-14 Big 12) was unable to beat Kansas (17-11, 10-7) in the final home game of the regular season, falling 65-53. 



“I don’t think we got in an offensive rhythm. Also turnovers are key we ended up with 19, its tough to win a game with that many turnovers"

Sytia Messerhead coach

Jewett led the team with 15 points on an efficient 5-for-10 shooting and dished out six assists. Peterson finished with 13 points, notching her 26th game scoring in double-figures. UCF shot 12-13 from the free-throw line and grabbed 35 rebounds, two short of tying their season high. 

Jewett started perfectly for the Knights, making all three of her first-quarter field goal attempts scoring seven points. The Black and Gold struggled to contain Kansas on the offensive boards, giving up six offensive rebounds in the quarter. In turn, UCF forced four turnovers. Timia Ware made her second start this season, scoring two points and dishing out two assists. Kansas made 5-of-6 free throw attempts to take a 17-11 lead. 

Kansas was able to gain its first double-digit lead in the mid-second after forcing the Knights deep into the shot clock on multiple possessions. After a first quarter where she only attempted one shot, Peterson began to force the issue, driving to the rim and scoring six points. Achol Akot and Peterson combined to score all 10 UCF points. The Jayhawks ended the quarter on an 8-0 run, going into halftime leading 35-21. 

The Knights started the second half on a 6-2 run to force a Jayhawks timeout with the lead down to 10. UCF’s defense remained strong, holding Kansas to over five minutes without a made basket. Amidst the drought, UCF struggled to take advantage, only making one field goal of their own. The Black and Gold held Kansas to only four field goals but went into the fourth down 47-34.

UCF’s strong defense continued into the fourth quarter. Peterson knocked down a three-pointer to pull the Knights within single digits. The Jayhawks continued to answer by getting to the free-throw line and forcing four turnovers. Peterson scored seven points in the fourth and the Knights went 8-8 from the line but the Knights were unable to overcome the deficit.


UCF will look to get their second win against the Cougars after defeating them in January as they wrap up the regular season against Houston in Fertitta Arena on Saturday, March 2. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. 


Before the game the Knights recognized their graduating seniors making their final home appearances: guard Maya Burns, center Jayla Kelly, forward Anzhané Hutton, and forward Femi Feneus, along with student managers Adam Andrews, Hannah Kaliszak, and Barrian Kearse Jr.