Nov. 30, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Jenna Marina
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF women's basketball team was firing on all cylinders in Saturday's 65-45 win over Howard in the 11th installment of the UCF Thanksgiving Classic.
While the Knights' defensive effort resulted in the team's largest point-differential over an opponent this season, multiple players filled the stat sheet with significant numbers.
Freshman Zykira Lewis led the way with 14 points for her team-best sixth-straight game of double digits. Senior Sara Djassi was close behind with 13 points and 8 rebounds, one board shy of her season best. Junior forwards Yanique Gordon and Brittni Montgomery each brought down a game-high 11 rebounds - a career-high for Gordon and a near double-double for Montgomery, who tallied 8 points.
Forward Stephanie Taylor also nearly recorded a double-double (8 points, 8 rebounds), and junior guard Andrea Hines was one point shy of another double-figure performance.
The final score may have been lopsided, but the game featured eight lead changes before the Knights (5-1) began to pull way considerably with 10 minutes remaining.
UCF's proficiency at crashing the boards allowed the Knights to pull ahead in the first half, 21-11, off a 14-4 run. But Howard managed to disrupt UCF's flow and responded with 12 unanswered points, capped by Shavonne' Duckett's 3-pointer from the top of the key that regained a 23-21 lead for the Bison.
With the clock winding down before the break, Lewis swished an open trey from the
left wing to send the Knights into the locker room with a 24-23 edge.
Howard chipped in six quick points in the opening minutes of the second half before Djassi drained back-to-back 3-pointers for a 32-31 advantage.
The Bison continued to keep it close and crept within 40-37 after Aaliyah Wilson stole the ball and drove coast-to-coast for a layup with 10:21 remaining, but the Knights kicked it into another gear from there.
UCF's Hines and Lewis combined to sink one basket after another, fueling their team on its 25-3 run over the next nine minutes for the victory.
The Knights will close the Thanksgiving Classic on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. against SIUE following the conclusion of the neutral-site matchup of Delaware and Howard at 12:30 p.m.