The UCF Knights are all smiles Saturday after beating the Memphis Lady Tigers 82-66.
Orlando’s Hometown Team completed a wire-to-wire victory and dominated the game.
The team sunk its first seven shots and ran with it from there. Early on in the game, Kay Kay Wright found Brittney Smith and Masseny Kaba early and often, which led to quick points for the bigs.
“We read the defense, they were playing up, so there was an open lane.” Kaba said.
The open lane led to 10 first quarter points for the starting frontcourt and it pushed Memphis into a hole they could not get out of.
To complement Smith and Kaba’s play down low, Wright’s play up top was stellar, resulting in a season-high 12 assists.
Wright moved to 2nd all-time in UCF history with 459 assists. She is just 72 away from the record with 10 games to play.
“Coming to UCF was about building and leaving a legacy,” Wright said. “I won’t say the assists [record] is a focus but it’s just a way that I’ll leave my mark at this university.”
Towards the end of the second quarter, UCF rallied on their best stretch of the game. A 17-2 run ballooned the lead from nine to 24.
Two of Georgia Gayle’s four triples came during that run and her second three off a Kaba steal appeared to be an early dagger as the crowd cheered.
“Obviously [Gayle]’s a sniper and she can shoot the ball,” coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said. “She’s a really smart player for us and she plays super-duper hard.”
In the second half, with the game all but locked up, the Knights took the foot off the gas a little bit, allowing the Lady Tigers to shrink the lead from 27 to 16 by the end of the contest.
The Knights’ win today moves the team to 3-3 in conference play and with majority of games coming against teams tied or ahead of them in the standings.
The team faces their next test Wednesday night in Philadelphia when the team faces Temple. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.