UCF Knights Dismantles Tigers 83-62
By Austin Reynolds
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 01:02
Two weeks ago, the struggling Central Florida Knights waltzed into the Elma Roane Fieldhouse and stunned the Memphis Tigers on their home floor to pick up their first conference victory. On Sunday afternoon, the Tigers traveled to Orlando and found themselves once again dismantled by the Knights.
“From the jump, UCF came out and played pretty hard,” Tigers assistant coach Michael Wholey said. “They seemed pretty committed to pushing the ball in transition and really running at us.”
The contest opened with a pair of three-pointers by both teams, with UCF getting on the scoreboard first with a deep ball from Gevenia Carter. The teams went back and forth in the early going. Junior post player Pa’Sonna Hope put the ball in the basket to give the Tigers a 13-12 lead, but then things took a turn for the worse for the visiting side.
Over the next nine minutes, the Knights went on a 17-1 run to give them a 29-14 advantage. U of M freshman forward Asianna Fuqua-Bey finally stopped the bleeding with an inside bucket with 3:52 remaining in the first half. It was the last field goal of the half for the Tigers. They were able to add a few more points from the charity stripe, but stumbled into the halftime break staring down a scoreboard that read 36-21 Knights.
The Knights scored the first four points of the second half, but the Tigers showed their first signs of life since the opening minutes of the ball game. Down 40-21, Memphis sophomore guard Lauren McGraw got a steal and added two points on the break. This sparked a 9-1 Memphis run that was capped off by a score in the paint by senior forward Nicole Dickson. The run cut the UCF lead to 41-30 with 14:14 left in the game.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, Dickson picked up a foul and Fuqua-Bey added a technical, which led to four straight free throws by the Knights to put them back up by 16. The Tigers were unfazed however, as McGraw drilled a three-pointer. Fuqua-Bey scored and split a pair of free throws, and Dickson hit a shot in the paint to bring the Tigers within eight points with less than 12 minutes left to play.
However, this was as close as the Tigers would be able to get. The scoring picked up immensely, and the vast majority of the points went in favor of the Knights as the Tigers would fall by a score of 83-62.
“Since we’ve come to Memphis, we’ve talked about being committed to full court defense, ball pressure and over deny and things of that nature and right now that’s kind of proven to be too hard,” Wholey said. “We’re not a team that’s committed right now to work hard enough to do those things.”
The Tigers were plagued by dreadful shooting throughout the game, finishing at 28.6 percent from the field. On the other side of the court, the Knights were able to connect on 43 percent of their shots. In addition to the poor shooting, the Tigers were also unable to get much done on the glass as they were outrebounded by the Knights 49-38.
Dickson led the Tigers in both scoring and rebounding, with a 19 point 10 rebound double-double. Fuqua-Bey and freshman guard Ariel Hearn chipped in 11 points, but both struggled from the field. Fuqua-Bey shot 2-7 while Hearn threw up brick after brick, shooting 3-16. Briahanna Jackson led the Knights with a career day in nearly every aspect of the game. She notched game-highs of 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 steals.
The Tigers return home to open up a two game home stand on Thursday night as they go for the season sweep of the UAB Blazers. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.