Senior D’Nay Daniels (Atlanta, Ga.) picked up her second double-double in as many games and her fourth this season, scoring 16 points and posting 10 rebounds as the UCF women’s basketball team defeated Conference USA opponent UAB (8-8, 0-3) Thursday night at the UCF Arena, 65-55. Knights’ (10-6, 3-0) guard Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) recorded her first double-double of the season, scoring 17 points and pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Patrick joins Daniels as the only two UCF players to record a double-double this season. She was aided by a career night at the free-throw line, connecting on 13-of-15 from the charity stripe.
Chelsie Wiley (Rockledge, Fla.) matched Patrick with a team-high 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor and 7-of-8 from the line.
The victory was the fifth-straight for the Knights, who move to 3-0 in C-USA contests this season for the first time since winning the league title in 2008-09. It also improved their record at home to 7-1 this season with all seven wins coming by double-digit margins.
Runs by both teams were the story of the first half. After taking an early lead, UAB fell behind by as much as 12 in the opening period as Daniels and Wiley combined for 16 points. However, a 12-2 run by the Blazers in the final five and a half minutes made it a two-point game at the break, 30-28.
The Knights stormed out to start the second half on an 11-0 run in the first five minutes. But it was another run by UAB that made it a much closer game with the surge time coming midway through the half.
The Blazers used a 16-4 run to pull within a point at 45-44 with 8:30 showing on the clock. That would be as close as they would get as UCF’s defense made key stops and scored in transition to pull away down the stretch, holding on for the 10-point win.
A season-best 88.9 percent (24-27) from the free-throw line sealed the win for the Knights. UAB was just 13-of-19 (68.4%) from the line in the game as they remain winless in league play.
UCF continued to dominate the glass, outrebounding its opponent for the tenth time this season, 37-29. The Knights have nine victories, including in all three C-USA games, when pulling down more boards than their opponents.
UCF will now head back out on the road for two-straight league games starting Sunday at SMU. The game between the Knights and the Mustangs is set for a 2 p.m. tip-off and can be seen nationally on ESPN2.