Nov. 8, 2013
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By Andy Seeley
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – Trailing Central Connecticut State by one with just more than five minutes left in the season-opener, UCF freshman Zykira Lewis hit a big shot in the lane for the Knights. That bucket sparked an 11-0 run, lifting the Knights to a 65-51 victory over the Blue Devils at CFE Arena.
Four players scored in double figures for UCF (1-0), led by Briahanna Jackson, who tallied 15 to go along with a game-high four steals and three assists. Sara Djassi added 14 points, while Lewis scored 13. Brittni Montgomery registered a double-double, tallying 10 points and pulling down a game-high 15 rebounds.
“The great thing is we found a way to win,” UCF head coach Joi William said following the game. “I’m proud of the way we were able to pull that out. It’s good to get a win and get the season off to a positive start.”
Lewis scored seven points in the Knights’ decisive 11-point outburst late in the game, including the shot that gave UCF the lead.
“It was a great shot because she made it,” Williams said. “I got on her about three times before for pulling up and just jacking up a shot. But she’s got ice water in her veins. She loves that kind of opportunity.”
UCF held a 24-23 halftime lead. But Central Connecticut State opened up a seven-point advantage early in the second half. A Jessica Babe three-pointer sparked the Blue Devils to an 11-3 run that gave CCSU (0-1) a 36-29 advantage with 14:29 remaining. Babe led all scorers in the contest with 21 points.
But the Knights clawed back into the game, outscoring CCSU 14-8 over the next six minutes. UCF grabbed a 45-44 advantage with 8:39 remaining on a Djassi three-point play. Less than one minute later, the Blue Devils regained the lead 46-45 on a Kayla Miller bucket. But that was the last time CCSU would lead.
“I was really proud of the way we stayed with it,” Williams said. “We didn’t quit. I’m just proud of everybody that came in and played.”
Friday night’s victory was the 500th in the history of the UCF women’s basketball program. It was also the first win in a season-opener for the Knights since the 2005-06 season.
UCF will be back in action again Tuesday in the first road game of the season. The Knights will travel to Rochester, Mich. for a 7 p.m. ET matchup with Oakland University.