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Knights Tribute Seniors Sweeping Cincy in OT, 64-54

It was Senior Day at Addition Financial concluding UCF’s 2022-23 home docket of games.

Brenna Johnson

UCF Knights Women’s Hoops (13-13) would take the floor Saturday afternoon for their Senior Day as they host the Cincinnati Bearcats (9-19) The hopes for the Knights’ sweeping the Bearcats were made real as they held on in overtime, 64-54.

Mya Burns was on Fire

Out of the gate, guard Mya Burns was a force unleashed rattling off the UCF’s first six points of the contest. She would finish with 20 points, six rebounds, a block, and two steals. This fast start put the Bearcats on their heels early only scoring seven points in the first quarter of action.

Cincinnati’s top scorers for the night were forward Malea Williams and Jillian Haynes who each had 16 points in the game. Burns had that by halftime where UCF led their visitors 35-19. Unfortunately for Knight fans, the comfort of a 16-point lead wouldn’t last.

A Double-Double is Senior Day Destiny

The one head coach Sytia Messer calls “Old Faithful”, Destiny Thomas turned in her 12th double-double of the season. Thomas finished the evening with 21 points and 2 rebounds but turned in an impressive four steals as well.

While she was honored during pregame for Senior Day, she has announced her intention to complete her eligibility as a 5th-year player. Her contribution this afternoon clearly impacted UCF’s ability to outrebound Cincinnati, 50-34.

The Bearcats clawed back in the fourth quarter outscoring the Knights in the last 10 minutes, 13-3. One big reason for this is the Knights’ free throw struggles rearing their ugly head once more. Missing 10 in regulation alone, they finished going 22-33 on the night.

Thomas missed a pair of free throws that could have put the Knights ahead with less than 1:00 in regulation. However, she went 4-4 in the final period after 6th-year senior guard Rachael Ranke hit one of two overtime triples that gave the Knights the final edge.

Honorable mention goes to forward Anzahne Hutton who poured in seven points and 12 rebounds in a strong support role.

Tulsa and the Tourney

The sweep of Cincy this season allows UCF to crawl up one more seed for the American conference tournament. The Temple Owls and Wichita State Shockers are set to face one another for each school’s next-to-last game. If the loser of that contest remains at 5 conference wins at the end of the season and UCF beats Tulsa for their 5th conference win, the Knights may find themselves at the 9th spot in the standings.

Coach Messer mention that and achieving a winning record battling the Golden Hurricane would represent her squad peaking at the right time for postseason play.