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Defense is key in UCF’s season-opening win over Virginia

Defense. Defense. Defense.

Coach Abe Photo: Derek Warden

The UCF Knights began their season in the win column with a dominant 60-34 win over the Virginia Cavaliers.

Today began a new era for the women’s basketball team as they face its first season without standout guard Kay Kay Wright, but it’s clear that defense will continue to be a key part of the Knights’ identity.

The Knights ran a 3-2 zone that scored 28 points off 31 Cavaliers turnovers.

Even with a slow start on offense with just five points in the first quarter, the Knights quickly flipped the game on its head once the second quarter began.

That push was led by junior Diamond Battles, who led all scorers with 17, and Syracuse transfer Alisha Lewis, who scored 12 off the bench after gaining eligibility from the NCAA hours before tipoff.

The Knights also got nine points from senior Tay Sanders and seven points from junior Brittney Smith.

With the win, the Knights win their 15th game at home in their last 16 contests.

So far, the Knights are off to a strong start and if the defense holds up, they will be a very difficult team to beat this season.