UCF Knights Women’s Basketball Crowned AAC Champs After 53-45 Victory Over South Florida

By  //  March 11, 2022

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NCAA Women's Basketball selection show set for Sunday

Less than one week after winning the first regular season American Athletic Conference championship, the UCF women’s basketball team completed the sweep by topping South Florida 53-45 to claim its first American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship Thursday night at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. (UCF Image)

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (UCF Knights) – Less than one week after winning the first regular season American Athletic Conference championship, the UCF women’s basketball team completed the sweep by topping South Florida 53-45 to claim its first American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship Thursday night at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We had a really tough preseason, played a lot of really good schools,” UCF head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said. “I think it really got us ready for the season in the American, and we set a lot of goals and we really ended up accomplishing them.”

Trailing 39-37 entering the fourth quarter, UCF (25-3) relied on what has worked all season long—defense. The Knights held South Florida (24-8) to just six points in the final period. With the game tied at 40 with 5:23 to go, UCF went on a 9-0 run to take the lead and didn’t look back.

The teams battled through the first three quarters, with neither side able to gain more than a six point cushion.

The Bulls held the advantage at the end of the first quarter, 13-10, took a 26-24 lead into halftime and carried a 39-37 edge into the fourth quarter.

The American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Diamond Battles added another accolade to her resume as she was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. She led all players with 17 points after draining 7-of-8 free throws. (UCF Image)

Each time the Bulls looked to pull away, the Knights responded. A free throw from Diamond Battles and a hook shot from Masseny Kaba in the opening minutes of the fourth put UCF ahead, 40-39. After Bethy Mununga knotted the score at 40, UCF rattled off a 9-0 scoring spurt over the next four minutes of play to build up a nine-point advantage. The Knights secured the victory at the charity stripe, going 6-6 in the final minute.

The American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Diamond Battles added another accolade to her resume as she was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. She led all players with 17 points after draining 7-of-8 free throws.

Masseny Kaba earned all-tournament recognition for the second straight year. She finished with nine points, nine rebounds, two steals, two assists and two blocks.

Destiny Thomas grabbed six of her nine rebounds on the offensive glass and had three steals. Alisha Lewis dished out a game-high seven assists.

UCF forced the Bulls into 17 turnovers and held a 39-33 rebounding edge.

As the American Athletic Conference tournament champion, the Knights have earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

UCF will find out its postseason destination on Sunday during NCAA Women’s Basketball selection show.