Disappointment for one and delight for another: UCF Basketball recap

Senior Brandon Mahan prepares to drive inside during Wednesday night's conference matchup against Temple University at the Addition Financial Arena. Mahan scored six points in the final few minutes that saw UCF take a 64-62 lead that the team couldn't hang on to. 

The night ended differently for both of UCF's basketball teams Wednesday as the men's team lost its second-straight game 62-66 to Temple University while the women's team won its first conference game of the season 54-47 against Tulane University. 

Men's Team

Despite being in control most of the game, Head Coach Johnny Dawkins and his squad (9-4, 1-2 AAC) were unable to complete the sweep against Temple (8-6, 1-2).

UCF had a 30-29 lead after the first half and a 14-6 run to start the second. The Owls were resilient, however, and tied the game with less than seven minutes to go, setting up a close win that they sealed with two big three's and some free throws. 

Darius Perry led the way for the Knights with 14 points and and four assists, followed by 12 points from fellow senior Cheikh Mbacke Diong. It came down to shot-making Wednesday night, with the Owls hitting 47.1% of their field goals compared to 39.7% for UCF.

The loss was also the team's second straight conference loss after falling to Southern Methodist University Sunday. The results of the two games will raise question marks on the team's potential selection in March. 

UCF is now sixth in the conference. The team's Saturday matchup against the University of Tulsa has been postponed, so they will have a week to reflect on their mistakes before before taking on the University of Memphis at home next Wednesday.

"We have to take a hard look at ourselves, work to get better, and head in that direction," Dawkins said in a press conference Wednesday. "Defensively, we have to be better. I thought we gave up too high a field goal percentage, and then offensively, we have to continue to work on our execution and clean up some things."

Women's Team

Things are a lot more positive for Head Coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson's side, as her team put on another defensive masterclass Wednesday, holding Tulane to a season-low 47 points. Tulane came into the game averaging 74.6 points per game.

UCF (9-2, 1-0 AAC) had the lead going into the half, despite seven turnovers in the first quarter alone. The game was decided in the third when junior Alisha Lewis drained a three, followed by two layups off steals from Lewis and senior Tay Sanders to make it 40-33 going into the fourth, a gap UCF wouldn't let up. 

Lewis and Sanders both had 13 points, while senior Diamond Battles and Masseny Kaba both had eight. Kaba scored her 1,000th point in the game, taking her into the elite 1,000-point club reserved for UCF's top scorers. She is the 20th Knight to join the club. 

UCF is only allowing 48.1 points on the season, the second lowest in the country. 

“Holding this team to 47 points is big,” Abrahamson-Henderson said following the win. “Our defense was really good down the stretch, especially in the 3rd quarter. We got some steals, tips and got some layups and some transition buckets. I think defensively that was the key to the game.”

Next up, the team will head to East Carolina University Saturday to face off against the Pirates in its second conference game of the season. 

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.