UCF Women's Basketball Pushes No. 5 Louisville to Limit

Jan. 15, 2014

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By Jenna Marina

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF women's basketball team outscored the No. 5 team in the country for all but one minute of the second half. They saw a career night from senior guard Sara Djassi. They kept Louisville below its average 84 points per game.

Yet, it wasn't enough to pull off the upset over the 2013 NCAA runner-up in front of the more than 7,000 in attendance at the KFC Yum! Center on Wednesday night.

Louisville (17-1, 5-0 The American) bested the Knights (8-8, 1-4), 75-56, to push its win streak to 10 straight.

Djassi netted a career-best and game-high 28 points. Freshman Zykira Lewis chipped in 14 points for her third-straight game of double digits. Junior guard Andrea Hines also contributed with a game-high-matching nine rebounds.

"If you compete on every possession the rest will take care of itself. We know if we execute the game plan, we can compete with the best teams in the country, and I think our team showed we are resilient," UCF head coach Joi Williams said. "I can't say enough about Sara Djassi and her leadership tonight. She played fearlessly and did a heck of a job."

The Knights made a game of it for the first 15 minutes with 11 lead changes. Djassi was a force from all over the court, hitting shots from behind the arc and finding ways to slice through the lane for 12 points early.

Zykira Lewis came up with a steal and finished with a layup to give UCF a 14-12 lead with 11:59 remaining in the first.

Although Louisville didn't take long to reclaim the lead, the Knights kept it close. Hines brought down a defensive rebound and jetted coast to coast to inch UCF's gap, 25-23, with five minutes remaining.

But Monny Niamke and Sara Hammond quickly dumped in consecutive layups and Shoni Schimmel drilled a 3-pointer to kick start a 17-3 surge for a 42-26 halftime advantage.

The Knights continued to battle after the break and held the upper hand for the majority of the second half. It wasn't until the final minute when Schimmel hit her fifth 3-pointer and Hammond chipped in two free throws that the Cardinals managed to catapult over the Knights on points, 33-30.

Unfortunately, UCF's first-half lull allowed the Cardinals to escape with the victory.

The Knights return to Orlando to host rival USF at 7 p.m. Saturday on the American Digital Network. Students who attend the game will receive 2,500 Knightmare Rewards points. Season tickets, mini-plans and group packages are still available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or visiting UCFKnights.com.