Women's basketball continue to stay in perfect in conference play, behind 10 steals from Lewis

Senior guard Diamond Battles (No. 3) shoots at the free throw line early in the first quarter against Houston on Tuesday. Battles finished with four points, all from the charity stripe.

UCF women’s basketball remains perfect in conference play despite a massive fourth quarter comeback from Houston Tuesday night. 

The Knights improved to 11-2 and 3-0 in the AAC after the 62-59 victory. The game marked the first home game for the Knights since Dec. 2 following a five-game road trip where they finished 4-1. 

Defensive pressure from both teams played a huge role from the tip, with the first field goal from either side not coming until around the five-minute mark. 

The game stayed close after one with Houston trailing only 14-12. Defense continued to lead the way for the Knights throughout the second quarter where they went on a 15-3 scoring run over a five-minute span and lead 29-17 at the half. 

UCF would go into the fourth quarter with a comfortable 15-point lead, limiting Houston to just 28 points through three quarters. 

But over the final eight minutes, Houston would rattle off 26 points including 12 in that span from sophomore guard Britney Onyeje. 

With just 49 seconds remaining and her team trailing by one, Masseny Kaba knocked down a pair of huge free throws. Just 20 seconds later, Diamond Battles would also go perfect from the charity stripe extending the UCF lead to three. 

Houston would have four chances to tie the game on their last possession, grabbing four offensive rebounds in the last 20 seconds but were unable to find the bottom of the basket on each attempt. 

Leading the way offensively for the Knights was senior guard Tay Sanders, finishing with 23 points to go along with five rebounds. Senior forward Brittney Smith came up huge off the bench to score 16 points. 

As a team the Knights would force 24 turnovers and come away with 19 steals, 10 of those would fall into the hands of Alisha Lewis. Lewis, who also came away with six steals on Saturday against ECU, is now averaging 5.75 steals per game over her last four contests. 

UCF head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said the Knight's next matchup against the reigning American Athletic Conference Champion and No. 24 ranked USF Bulls “is gonna be a big-time battle."

"We’re gonna really have to lock in Thursday in practice, Friday in practice, and Saturday in practice and be super detailed in what we’re doing,” Abrahamson-Henderson said.

The Knights host the 11-4 (1-0 AAC) Bulls on Sunday at 3:00pm at Addition Financial Arena.

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