Knights Fall in Close Battle with Bearcats

by Maddie Glass

ORLANDO - Despite four double-digit scorers and outrebounding the Bearcats, the UCF women’s basketball team (11-10, 2-9) was unable to overcome Cincinnati (12-10, 4-7) in a close battle Wednesday night in Addition Financial Arena, 67-61. 

Mya Burns led the Knights with 19 points while shooting 7-8 from the free-throw line. Khyala Ngodu tallied 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds to earn her second double-double of the season. Kaitlin Peterson added 12 points while Laila Jewett chipped in 11 going 8-8 from the free-throw line. 

Cincinnati started the game by making four of its first five shots, putting the Knights in an early 13-5 hole. It was a low-scoring affair for both teams in the first quarter as neither shot the ball well after Cincinnati’s initial start. Jayla Kelly scored the next points for the Knights on an assist from Sierra Godbolt to cut the lead to 13-7. Following that basket, the Bearcats went on a three-minute scoring drought with the Knights capitalizing to form a 6-0 scoring spurt. Cincinnati led at the end of the first, 14-11. 

The second quarter started similar to the first as the Bearcats made three of four shots to open the frame. UCF was forced into a timeout as Cincinnati built their lead to 27-20. Following the break, the Knights ended the quarter on a 10-0 run, taking a 30-27 lead into the locker room. Jewett cashed in on a triple to begin the run, totaling seven points in the first half to pace the Knights. UCF forced the Bearcats into nine turnovers, resulting in 14 points for the Black and Gold. 


The Black and Gold started off strong in the third quarter going up by six. Cincinnati answered back going on a 10-0 run to tie the game and take the lead. The Black and Gold’s defense held strong, holding Cincinnati to only 37.5 field goal percentage but struggled with turnovers, coughing it up nine times. Burns kept UCF in the game adding nine points while going 5-6 from the charity stripe. An even game at 47 heading into the fourth quarter. 

The final frame was a back-and-forth battle with neither team able to gain separation. It wasn’t until the final moments when Cincinnati took more than a one-possession lead. The Bearcats were able to regain their footing on offense, making 53.8 percent of their shots in the fourth quarter. UCF cleaned up its turnovers but struggled to make up ground after Cincinnati took a three-point lead with 45 seconds left. 

The Knights will travel to Lubbock, Texas for a matchup with Texas Tech on Saturday, Feb. 10. Tip-off is slated for 8 pm from United Supermarkets Arena.