Tulane Women's Basketball Falls To UCF, 60-52

"We didn't execute the offense the way we have all year," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. "When our defense held, we couldn't find a way to score. We're a team that came into the game second in the league in scoring. We have to be able to execute and get better shots. Tonight, we didn't."

ORLANDO, Fla.–Golden Knight guards Amber Long and LaShay King combined for 31 points as UCF defeated the Tulane University women's basketball team 60-52 Friday evening in Conference USA action at the UCF Arena.

The game was tied at 27-all at halftime, and Tulane (6-6, 1-3) used an early push to claim a 33-29 advantage early in the second stanza. That was the lone highlight for the Green Wave, though, as the Golden Knights (3-12, 1-3) battled back to take 34-33 advantage and gave up the lead just once more the rest of the night to earn the win.

"We didn't execute the offense the way we have all year," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. "When our defense held, we couldn't find a way to score. We're a team that came into the game second in the league in scoring. We have to be able to execute and get better shots. Tonight, we didn't."

Junior guard Jami Montagnino had a team-best 12 points to post her fifth consecutive double-digit scoring total, and sophomore forward Jennifer Sands was next with 11. Sands paced the club with eight rebounds, and fellow post Kendra Barnes had a solid night as well with seven points and seven boards.

The difference in the ballgame, however, was the Golden Knights' ability to score from beyond the arc as UCF hit 6-of-16 3-pointers, five of which came in the second half. All nine of Francine Houston's points came on second-half treys, and King accounted for the other two of the period.

Tulane, meanwhile, hit 3-of-12 three points. The second came at the 10:30 mark of the second half and the final with just 35.5 seconds left to play.

Neither team could grab full control of the game in the first half. UCF scored the first four points of the contest, but Tulane answered to take a 10-8 advantage less than six minutes into the ballgame. The Golden Knights used a 15-6 run to take a 23-16 lead with 6:11 left in the half, but the Green Wave defense allowed just two field goals the rest of the period and outscored the UCF 11-4 over the final six-plus minutes to go into the locker room knotted at 27.

The theme continued early in the second half, but with Tulane clinging to a 35-34 lead 3:53 into the stanza, Houston hit her first trey to give the Golden Knights a 37-35 advantage they would not relinquish. The Green Wave kept it close, but each time Tulane made a push, UCF had an answer.

Eventually the Green Wave were forced to foul and stop the club, but UCF hit their free throws down the stretch to earn their first-ever C-USA victory.

Long led UCF with a game-high 18 points, followed by King with 13 and Keunta Miles with 10. Miles paced the Golden Knights with seven rebounds while Shelby Weber pulled down six.

The Green Wave return to action on Sunday, Jan. 15, when they travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., to battle C-USA rival Southern Miss at 2 p.m. in Reed Green Coliseum. That game is the second of a three-game road swing as Tulane will take on Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday, Jan. 21, in Hammond, La.

--www.tulanegreenwave.com—


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