OK, let’s get this out of the way: The UCF Knights Women’s Basketball team lost to the #4 UConn Huskies 78-41 on Sunday. None of that is surprising, nor should it be disappointing, either.
Kay Kay Wright finished with 17 on 8/18 shooting, but all five UConn starters finished in double figures, led by Napheesa Collier with 18 plus 11 rebounds.
So if you’re Coach Abe and UCF, there are some positive things you have to take with you going forward in conference play. Let’s articulate those as best we can:
UCF held Katie Lou Samuelson scoreless from the field
Samuelson, currently the fourth-best scorer in UConn history and the tenth-ever Husky to pass 2,000 points in her college career (go look at that list to see what kind of company she’s in) was 0/5 from the field (all from beyond the arc) for the game. It was her first game not recording a field goal since December of her freshman year. Part of that was UCF’s keying on her, obviously, but also their (at times aggressive) physicality. But Samuelson caught it about as much as she dished it out, as she was a perfect 12/12 at the line.
UCF held UConn under 50% shooting
47% to be exact, which is under their season average of 49.4%. Still, UConn’s only two losses came when they shot under 40% (they’re 1-2 when they do that). So I guess that’s OK.
UConn had a huge foul shot advantage
20 attempts to 4, and UConn made 18 of them. No one is saying there’s anything untoward about that. But I’m sure some armchair coaches are looking at that statistic and stroking their chins as to how a road team could have a 16-shot advantage at the stripe.
UCF forced 21 UConn turnovers
That’s the most UConn has turned the ball over all year - nearly twice their season average (11.4/game). Unfortunately, the Huskies forced UCF into 23 turnovers of their own. You can’t beat them with that many empty possessions.
UCF doesn’t lose too much ground in the RPI
Three spots, to be exact: From 15 to 18. Unfortunately, that means UCF is going to have to finish strong to maintain that with only one game left against a team with a +.500 record in conference.
UCF got some help from Temple
The Owls’ 78-70 win over Cincinnati kept UCF alone in second place in The American at 9-3 (20-5 overall), one game ahead of the Bearcats (16-9, 8-4 AAC) in the loss column. So for now, all UCF has to do is take care of business in the final four games and they should have the #2 seed in the conference tournament and a top-20 RPI all but locked up.
UCF isn’t backing down from anybody
Not while Kay Kay Wright is around.
"Coach 'ABE' put out some adjectives that we were going to be this game. Fearless was one of them."— UCF Women's Hoops (@UCF_WBB) February 18, 2019
More from Kay Kay and Coach after today's game against No. 4 UConn pic.twitter.com/U8wwli9Kwk
UCF at Wichita State - Wednesday, February 20th at 7:30 p.m. ET.