Feb. 4, 2014
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UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Jenna Marina
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF women's basketball team pushed and prodded against Louisville. The Knights swished 3-pointers, picked up and-1s, fought for rebounds - in short, did everything they could to bump off the nation's fourth-ranked team.
But Louisville (23-1, 11-0) remained poised enough for a 74-59 win over the Knights (9-13, 2-9) on Tuesday night at CFE Arena.
The Knights' Achilles' heel proved to be their season-high 25 turnovers, which the Cardinals converted 23 points off of.
UCF senior Sara Djassi led her team with 12 points and was joined in double figures by freshman Zykira Lewis (10). Guard Andrea Hines and forwards Stephanie Taylor and Brittni Montgomery all chipped in 9 points apiece, and Montgomery nearly tallied a double-double with a team-high 9 rebounds.
UCF got everyone on the court involved in distributing the ball with seven assists on the team's first seven field goals. The Knights were able to cut the lead to six on several occasions, including Erika Jones' layup with less than 7 minutes to play, 29-23.
The Cardinals responded with five unanswered points to push their lead back out to double digits. It appeared the Knights might be able to keep the deficit under 10 at halftime after Lewis found Taylor for a layup with 46 seconds to go, but Emmonnie Henderson sank a jumper for a 44-33 advantage.
The Knights made good on the opening possession of the second half by working the ball inside to Montgomery for a layup. From there, Louisville rolled on a 12-2 run for a commanding lead that eventually extended to 20 before UCF began its spirited comeback.
The whistle blew in UCF's favor time and again, allowing the Knights to capitalize from their opportunities at the free throw line, where they converted 10-of-11 over a five-minute span.
When Hines swished a 3-pointer from the left wing, she inched the deficit back to 10, 63-53, which 5:36 left to play.
Louisville's Sara Hammond swished a timely 3-pointer on the Cardinals' next possession that dashed the Knights' momentum, and the Cardinals were able to hang on for the win.
UCF travels the short trip on I4 to Joi Williams' alma mater and in-state rival USF on Saturday at 2 p.m. on ESPN3.