UCF Women's Basketball Victorious in Historic Conference Opener

Dec. 28, 2013

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By Jenna Marina

HOUSTON, Texas (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF women's basketball team's performance Saturday at Houston will go down not only as one for the history books, but also one to be proud of.

Playing in its inaugural American Athletic Conference game, the Knights bested Houston, 67-59, backed behind a lights-out outing from sophomore guard Briahanna Jackson.

UCF (8-4) stole its first win at Hofheinz Pavilion to give head coach Joi Williams the 150th victory of her career.

"It's definitely exciting to be a part of the inaugural season in the American Athletic Conference and to be the first game in the new conference meant a lot to us," Williams said. "To come out with a win was very big. We really felt like we needed to get off to a good start in this league, and to get a win on the road is really important. It was a hard fought game. I thought our team faced some adversity, but we stayed positive and focused and it made a huge difference in the game."

Jackson shined with her third 20-plus-point game of the year, netting a game-high 24 points to go along with eight rebounds.

After missing all of non-conference season due to injury, senior Erika Jones made her 2013 debut midway through the first half and made quality use of her 21 minutes with a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds).

UCF jumped out to a 9-2 lead early but Houston roared back with a 7-0 run. From there, neither team was willing to give an inch as they battled through tied score after tied score. Houston (4-8)went into halftime with a 31-27 advantage thanks to Alecia Smith's 3-pointer from the left wing just before the horn sounded.

The Knights gained momentum with a 14-4 run fueled by Jackson early in the second half. She scored 7 points in a 65-second span, including the go-ahead running jumper in the lane with 14:50 to play.

UCF climbed to as much as a 12-point lead, 57-45, with less than 8 minutes remaining before the Cougars tried to make a push with a 12-4 stretch. However, the Knights were able to close the game out at the free throw line, where Sara Djassi, Zykira Lewis and Andrea Hines combined to convert 6-of-8 in the final 35 seconds.

The Knights will host their conference home opener on Jan. 1 against NCAA defending champion UConn on ESPN3. Tickets are on sale now. Season tickets, mini-plans and group packages are still available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or visiting UCFKnights.com.



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