On Thursday, the UCF Knights Women’s Basketball hosted the Arkansas Razorbacks of the SEC fresh off of their successful outing in the Cancun Challenge that took place in Mexico during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
After claiming a pair of wins there against the USC Trojans and the Idaho State Bengals, UCF was able to secure another victory, 52-51, on a reverse layup by Diamond Battles with nine seconds left on the clock.
The Knights couldn’t get out of their own way in the first half as 12 of the Razorback's 23 points we off of turnovers. Nonetheless, UCF remained aggressive in their approach attacking the basket and getting to the free-throw line 28 times in the contest. Coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson spoke on the importance of drawing fouls to her crew’s offensive prowess.
Spoke with @COACH_ABE after @UCF_WBB won 52-51 in a nailbiter over @RazorbackWBB @ @AdditionFiArena about the importance of free throws in playing their aggressive style of basketball. #GKCO #ARKvsUCF pic.twitter.com/RMhLRnX1Js— Kyle Nash (@TheSoTG) December 3, 2021
Throughout the recent winning streak leading into the matchup vs. the Razorbacks, the Knights have depended heavily on points from the charity stripe dating back to the home victory against Belmont on November 21st. From that game through the Cancun Challenge and Thursday, UCF Women’s Basketball has had no fewer than 11 points from foul shots. This is a symptom of a team whose style of play and mentality is defined by toughness.
Another such trait is being able to overcome a tough start. The Razorbacks opened the game with a 10-0 run before Brittney Smith put in the first points of the game for UCF. Tay Sanders came on in the second half to light the spark that would power the Knights’ to even the game up. Sanders and Battles who led their squad in scoring with 15 and 13 points respectively both spoke to their mentality to pull off the comeback.
After @RazorbackWBB opened the game with a 10-point run, @UCF_WBB battled back for a 52-51 victory. Tay Sanders and @battles_diamond spoke about their mentality to get their 5th win in a row.#GKCO #ARKvsUCF pic.twitter.com/OADtjag99o— Kyle Nash (@TheSoTG) December 3, 2021
UCF’s next game will be on the road against Mercer in Macon Georgia as the first of four road games where the Knights will also face the Seton Hall Pirates, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Princeton Tigers. Should the Knights find success during that campaign the conversation could hit the national stage with the possibility of becoming a Top 25 ranked team. Battles and Sanders spoke on the prospect of becoming the first ranked team in the program’s history.