History continues to be made this season by the UCF women’s basketball team. On Thursday evening in CFE Arena, the Knights topped Stetson, 73-53, in the opening round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament for the program’s first postseason victory.
“I’m just happy for the seniors,” head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said. “They continue to make memories. I’m really excited for them. (Zykira) played like a senior tonight.”
UCF (21-11) advances to the second round of the WNIT and will face Georgia Tech on Sunday. The squad will head to Atlanta for the 5 p.m. tip.
Heading into the second quarter locked in an 8-8 score, senior Zykira Lewis single-handedly went on a 7-0 run to give her team the advantage. The Knights led by as many as nine points on three occasions before taking a 27-20 edge into the locker rooms.
The Knights outscored Stetson 29-14 in the third quarter to break the game open. Cruising to 73-53 victory, UCF has now won eight of its last 10 games.
Junior Aliyah Gregory scored a game-high 23 points, followed closely by Zykira Lewis’ 22 points. The duo each dished out four assists and swiped three steals apiece.
Sophomore Tolulope Omokore added 12 points and collected four of her six rebounds on the offensive glass.
• Hitting five shots behind the arc, Zykira Lewis pushed her career total to 270. She continues to hold the record for the most three-pointers made by a Knight, man or woman, in UCF history.
• UCF earned its 21st victory of the season, marking its most wins since the 2010-11 campaign when the Knights went 22-11.
• The Knights snapped a two-game skid against Stetson. The Hatters had won the 2014 and 2015 contests.
Coach Abe on the importance of Zykira Lewis tonight:
“Last year’s game (against Stetson) didn’t feel good to them. They remembered it. I think (Zykira) really came out and played like a senior. She was open on a lot of her three-pointers, and that’s what she’s supposed to do. We were just telling her to knock them down.”
Senior Zykira Lewis on being part of the program’s first-ever win:
“I’m just very excited. I feel like my teammates are fighting for me and (Joslyn Massey). To see that motivates me to play hard, to play for my coaches. Being in this postseason feels really good for me since it’s my first time.”
Junior Aliyah Gregory on her 14-point performance in the third quarter:
“My teammates were putting me in good positions. I know a lot of the shots that I did make weren’t off of me creating it myself. It was off a good pass from one of my teammates. I think my teammates were really looking for me, putting me in positions where I like to shoot the ball. We were able to be aggressive in our press and I was able to get steals and capitalize off that.”