BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior guard Gevenia Carter led the charge in the UCF women's basketball team's late push to steal a win on the road Friday night at Bowling Green. As the Knights battled foul trouble all night, Carter's season-high 21 points carried the team to its third-straight win, 59-56, over the eight-time defending MAC champion.
The Knights (6-8) battled back from a 15-point second-half deficit to tie the score at 53 when guard Andrea Hines drove baseline and kicked it back out to the top of the key for an awaiting guard Meghan Keough, who sank a 3-pointer with two minutes to go.
Carter drained the go-ahead 3-pointer just under the minute mark and senior forward Kayli Keough knocked down 3-of-4 free throws in the final 28 seconds to escape with the win and derail Bowling Green (9-4) from its six-game win streak.
"I'm just really proud of our team," UCF head coach Joi Williams said. "I think we left everything out there. It's a great way to start 2013."
The lead exchanged hands six times and the score tied five times during the first half. UCF led by no more than four points in the first 20 minutes before Bowling Green got the final say when reserve Katrina Salinas sank a trey from the top of the key to bump BGSU's advantage to 29-23 at halftime.
The Falcons gained momentum in the second half with a barrage of baskets, highlighted by BGSU leading scorer Chrissy Steffen's four-point play, to take a 41-28 lead in the first six minutes.
The Knights were not able to shrink the deficit down to single digits until freshman Briahanna Jackson and Hines converted back-to-back 3-pointers with 7:17 to go, 49-42.
The Falcons remained undeterred as they managed to regain a 10-point lead, 53-43, thanks to Allison Papenfuss' fastbreak layup with five minutes remaining.
From that point on, the Knights dug deep with a 16-3 run, coming up with defensive stops and timely shots. The Falcons made one last ditch effort to escape with the win when Jillian Halfhill's prayer from behind the arc sailed in with seven seconds remaining to inch within 58-56.
BGSU put Kayli at the free throw line without letting any time escape off the clock, and she made the first free throw to secure the Knights' win.
Up next, the Knights tip off their final season in Conference USA on Jan. 10 at home against UAB.
Season tickets, which start at only $30, are currently available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting UCFAthletics.com.