When it comes to UCF Knights Women’s Basketball (12-2) and their schedule, head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson is on record stating that there are a few tough stretches in the season, and this is among them. After holding on against the Houston Cougars, they hosted a rematch of last year’s American Athletic Conference Championship against the USF Bulls. In what is expected to be the first of three outings (including the preseason projected conference tournament final) the Knights prevailed, 67-51.
The War On I-4 had shots fired early and often as there for free for alls for loose balls from the opening tip. The story of the game was how cold USF shot from behind the arc finishing with 4-16. Coach Abe commented on how important it was that her crew slowed scoring from the three-point land in the postgame press conference.
Tay Sanders and Diamond Battles were once again central forces on offense scoring 18 and 19 respectively, but Alisha Lewis flew under the radar with an awesome performance of her own.
Lewis had 12 points of her own along with six assists, four rebounds, and four steals. She also had a moment where she faked a defender out so that she fell to the floor as the jumper swished into the net.
With Sanders and Battles combining for 37 points, the team’s defense also did its part in the game. When USF’s perimeter offense failed, the Bulls were forced to attack the paint with Dulcy Medijiadeu Fankam and Bethy Mununga who combined for 26 points. However, the Knights had 8 steals and forced 19 turnovers to further minimize their opponent's attack and further the argument that UCF deserves to be nationally ranked.
With this contest in the books, they enjoy the advantage of winning in Addition Financial Arena. This puts more pressure on USF to win when they host UCF on February 13th to prevent themselves from getting swept and handing their rivals leverage in the standings.
The Knights continue conference play in the American on the road for the next two games. On Wednesday, they face the SMU Mustangs before heading to Ohio and suiting up against the Cincinnati Bearcats. SMU was undefeated at 3-0 in the AAC going into Sunday while the Bearcats sat at 0-3 in league play. The Knights return home on January 26th at 6:00 pm EST when they host the Tulane Green Wave who is also struggling in conference play.