Women's Basketball Tramples Nicholls State

ORLANDO – Senior Adrienne Billings and sophomore Celeste Hudson each scored 15 points as the UCF women's basketball team triumphed over Nicholls State, 85-49, in the final round of the Golden Knights Classic on Saturday afternoon.

The win was UCF's first of the season as the squad improved to 1-2 overall, while the margin of victory was the Golden Knights' largest since the 1991-92 season. UCF handed Coastal Carolina an 82-43 loss in the season opener that year.

UCF earned the victory after an overpowering first half. The teams were tied at seven points a piece three minutes into the first half before the Golden Knights began to pull away slowly. Freshman Lashaunda Slade hit a three-pointer to put UCF up 14-9 at the 13:17 mark, but neither team would score for over two minutes after. The offensive dry spell ended with a jumper by freshman forward Keunta Miles at 10:54. The hosts, which beat the Lady Colonels 76-55 in Thibodaux, La. on Nov. 30 of last year, finished the first period on a 27-8 run to take a 43-17 advantage to the locker room.

The Golden Knights shot 63.3% (19 of 30) in that stanza and saw Atlantic Sun Preseason Player of the Year Takira Allen hit a perfect four of four field goal attempts. Celeste Hudson was 5-for-9 from the floor and contributed 13 points. NSU, meanwhile, shot 23.3% (7 of 30).

UCF continued to dominate in the second period opening with five unanswered points before Cristin Burdette sank a jumper off an inbound pass under the net at 17:45. Already up 28 points with 3:45 remaining to play, the Golden Knights distanced themselves even further on a 12-4 run to finish out the game.

The Golden Knights outplayed the visitors in nearly every aspect of the contest. They outrebounded Nicholls State by a 48-23 margin and boasted a 30-10 advantage defensively. They hit 59.3% of their field goal opportunities compared to a 27.3% for the Lady Colonels.

In the first contest of the afternoon No. 8 Purdue (4-1) used a 19-point effort by Shereka Wright and a 12-0 second half run to defeat Wake Forest, 76-57. It was the Demon Deacons first loss of the season as they dropped to 3-1.

UCF returns to action on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when intrastate rival Florida State visits UCF arena.

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