Nov. 19, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Jenna Marina
ATLANTA, Ga. (UCFKnights.com) - Not since 1984-85 has the UCF women's basketball team put together a season-opening 4-0 streak. In fact, no one on the current roster was alive the last time it happened.
The Knights found themselves making their own history on Tuesday night with their 85-77 win at Georgia State in the Panthers' home opener.
"It's great, but it's how you finish, so we just have to keep this going," UCF head coach Joi Williams said. "We have to understand that defense is why we're winning games right now, and we have to do that for 40 minutes because it's just going to get tougher from here."
UCF sophomore guard Briahanna Jackson impressed with a double-double: a career-high- matching 34 points and team-high 10 rebounds. Jackson hit 12-of-19 from the field, which included five 3-pointers.
"I thought BJ did a great job of letting the game come to her," Williams said. "She took what they gave her, she played with a lot of patience and just really ran the team tonight."
Forward Stephanie Taylor also had a career night with 14 points, freshman Zykira Lewis proved to be a huge boost off the bench with 13 points in the second half and Sara Djassi rounded out the double-digit crew with 10 points, thanks in part to a perfect 6-of-6 showing from the free throw line.
The energy of the game never wavered, even as UCF battled through a 10-0 drought in the first half. Jackson broke up GSU's run with back-to-back 3-pointers from the left side to inch the Knights within 28-22.
The Knights continued to stay on the Panthers' heels and cut the deficit to 33-32 when Yanique Gordon banked in a bucket down low with 4:21 remaining. But Ashlee Cole responded with a 3-pointer to keep her team one step ahead, as GSU eventually went into the locker room at halftime maintaining a 43-38 edge.
Lewis took over for the Knights as soon as she came on the court in the second half, swishing two threes from the left side to both tie the game and take the lead, 54-51.
"She came off and played her role. I thought she did a great job of taking open shots, knocking them down," Williams said. "She's a freshman that is pretty much fearless."
Georgia State kept it close and was still in the game with five minutes remaining when Kendra Long sank a jumper to tie the score at 69.
Taylor's two free throws seconds later gave UCF the lead for good, and Jackson's trey from the top of the key to push ahead 76-71 drove the Panthers into desperation as they continually put the Knights at the free throw line, where they closed the game.
UCF continues its road swing to Charlotte, N.C. for a 7 p.m. tipoff Saturday against the 49ers. 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.