Dec. 16, 2005
ORLANDO - Junior guard Francine Houston scored 22 points and went 8-for-8 from the foul line as the UCF women's basketball team defeated Central Michigan, 57-48, in the first round of the UCF Holiday Classic at the UCF Arena on Friday night.
The Chippewas, who fell to 6-1 on the season, jumped out to an early 4-0 lead before senior forward Shelby Weber sank the Golden Knights' first basket at 16:14. Houston tied it at four all a minute later. Grabbing control of the game, CMU went up to a 17-11 lead at 7:39. UCF (2-6) cut the deficit to 21-20 with just over two minutes left to play in the half then Houston gave the Knights' their first advantage at 23-21 second later.
Despite their best efforts, the two teams found themselves tied at 25 after the first 20 minutes.
Central Michigan started the second half on a 6-0 run and only allowed the Golden Knights to score two points in the opening nine minutes. Down 11 points (38-27), a jumper by Weber and a trey by Houston jumpstarted UCF's offense with under 11 minutes left on the clock.
The Golden Knights' stepped up the defense in the final eight minutes of the game, limiting the visitors to three points from the field. UCF took the lead, 45-44, on Houston's fourth three-pointer and never relinquished it. The second of Houston's two successful foul shots gave the home team a 10-point advantage, its largest of the night, with 25 seconds remaining.
CMU freshman guard Angel Chan sank a three-pointer but Houston sank two free throws to further seal the victory, which halted a six-game losing slide by the Knights.
UCF outplayed its opponent, outshooting CMU 33.3%to 31.6% from field goal range and holding a 44-34 advantage on the boards. The Golden Knights also posted their best free throw percentage of the season as they sank 78.9% (15 of 19) of their opportunities.
Weber finished the night just shy of a double-double with nine points and a game-high nine rebounds. Meanwhile, senior guard Casey Manning finished with a team-high 13 points for the Chippewas.
Junior guard Terra Wallace poured in 31 points as UT-Arlington defeated Troy, 65-54, in the first game of the afternoon. The Lady Trojans were led by junior guard Laura Lee Holman, who recorded 12 points in the loss.
The UCF Holiday Classic continues on Saturday evening when Central Michigan takes on Troy at 5 p.m. followed by UCF squaring off against UTA at approximately 7 p.m.