Nov. 12, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Jenna Marina
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF women's basketball team's late heroics on defense made a thrilling end to Tuesday night's 57-54 victory versus Oakland in the first road game of the year.
Once trailing the Golden Grizzlies by 14 points in the second half, the Knights steadily chipped away at the deficit and had a chance to tie the game at 54 with 27 seconds remaining when senior guard Sara Djassi drew a foul and was sent to the line.
She converted the first and missed the second but quickly redeemed herself by swiping the ball from Oakland at half court, driving to the rim and banking UCF's first lead of the second half.
As Oakland attempted to inbound after a timeout, junior guard Andrea Hines came up with the steal this time and gave UCF a 57-54 cushion with six seconds to go. The Knights refused to give the Golden Grizzlies a chance at sending it to overtime when sophomore guard Briahanna Jackson made one of her signature steals to allow UCF to walk away with the win.
"It just came down to getting stops. Oakland did a great job, they shot the ball very well tonight," UCF head coach Joi Williams said. "Credit our defense at the end for really believing and trusting that we could win the game if we got stops."
Jackson and freshman Zykira Lewis paced the Knights with 14 points apiece to help lead the team to its best start to the season (2-0) since 2002-03.
Oakland jumped out to a slight 4-0 edge before Djassi drove baseline and chipped in a layup to spur the Knights on an 8-0 run. UCF maintained its lead until Oakland's onslaught of 3-pointers helped fuel a 13-0 stretch.
The Golden Grizzlies nailed 8-of-18 from behind the arc in the first half, taking advantage of the absence of preseason all-conference selection Jackson, who only played five minutes due to foul trouble.
After the break, however, Oakland turned as cold as the snow coating the ground outside, hitting just 2-of-9 from 3-point range.
Meanwhile, UCF was able to cut the double-digit deficit down to a single possession, 47-44, thanks to nine unanswered points capped by freshman guard Zykira Lewis' fastbreak layup with 7:50 remaining.
The Knights stayed close the rest of the way to put themselves in a position to steal the victory.
Junior forward Stephanie Taylor brought down a career-high 12 rebounds and Hines filled the stat sheet with 7 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
UCF will face FIU when the team returns to CFE Arena on Friday at 7 p.m. Season tickets, which start at only $30 for adults and $15 for kids, are available today by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting UCFKnights.com.