ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's basketball team could not find a way to extinguish SMU's hot hands in the second half, and the Knights suffered a 60-48 setback on Thursday night at UCF Arena.
Coming out of halftime with a 29-26 lead, things looked promising for the Knights (9-10, 4-3 C-USA) when freshman Andrea Hines found senior Aisha Patrick for a quick jumper.
But the Mustangs (11-8, 4-2 C-USA) found their rhythm, sinking 52 percent from the field compared to UCF's 27.3 percent in the second half to steal the game.
UCF junior forward Kayli Keough led the Knights with 14 points and junior guard Gevenia Carter added 13 points. Patrick added nine points, eight rebounds and a game-high four assists while freshman Bryeasha Blair contributed positive minutes off the bench with six points, three rebounds and three assists.
After a slow start for both teams, UCF gained some ground thanks to a three-point play from Keough and two layups from freshman Blair to take its largest lead of the game, a 20-13 edge. However, the Mustangs managed to close the gap to a three-point deficit, 29-26, when Alisha Filmore sank a jumper to cap the half.
The teams battled through the first 12 minutes of the second half as neither squad gave an inch. With the score tied at 43-43 with 8:13 to go, Samantha Mahnesmith drilled two daggers from behind the arc to give SMU a comfortable cushion for the rest of the game.
Up next, UCF travels to UTEP on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. eastern. The IMG Sports Network will broadcast all of UCF's games live on UCFAthletics.com with a subscription plan. Scott Adams will provide the play-by-play. Live stats are also available via UCFAthletics.com.