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Women’s Hoops Poleaxes Wichita State in AAC Tournament Opener

Knights likely one win away from locking up second straight at-large NCAA bid

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 09 American Athletic Conference Women’s Championship - Tulsa v UCF Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Behind a suffocating defense that held its opponents to just 27% from the floor, the #2-seed UCF Knights women’s basketball team wiped out 7-seed Wichita State 65-32 in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship. The Knights face the #3 seed Cincinnati Bearcats Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Kay Kay Wright was the only Knight in double figures led with 14 points, but nine of the ten UCF players who saw action tallied the scorebook.

UCF has outscored Wichita State a combined 160-82 in the Knights’ last two games - the regular season finale and the AAC Quarters.

The victory also pushed UCF past the 20-win mark for the fourth consecutive year. It’s the first time the Knights have done that since 1982-1985, a streak they started as an AIAW squad and finished in their first year of NCAA Division I play.

Next Up: Cincinnati

The Knights next face the Cincinnati Bearcats in the semis in a rubber match.

UCF got throttled in Cincinnati in the second game of the conference season back on January 12, 81-64. But UCF returned the favor in Orlando on February 15th in a 49-42 slugfest.

If UCF wins, they will likely lock up an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament field. According to ESPN’s Charlie Creme, UCF is still one of the last four teams in the field, with UConn expected to take the automatic bid. Cincinnati is not expected to reach the field, nor are they one of Creme’s first eight teams out.

But the Knights should spare nothing to chance. Cincinnati won their quarterfinal over 11-seed Memphis in dominating fashion, 94-52, holding the Tigers to just 26% from the field while shooting better than 56% themselves.

In the other semifinal, #1 seed UConn faces #4 seed South Florida.

Tip-off for UCF and Cincinnati is set for 6:30 p.m. ET at Mohegan Sun Arena. You can watch the game on ESPNU.