UCF sports in review: Feb. 20 to Feb. 26

Courtesy UCF Athletics Communications

Men’s Basketball: The Knights (19-10, 10-7 AAC) had a monumental week. First, on Wednesday, they took down Temple (15-15, 6-11) on the road by a score of 71-69. UCF trailed by nine at halftime, but rallied back. Redshirt sophomore B.J. Taylor finished with 19 points, including the final six of the game for the Knights. He led the way once again on Sunday, this time with 27 points, in what turned out to be the program’s biggest win in years. UCF took down No. 15 Cincinnati (25-4, 14-2 AAC), 53-49, for its fourth-ever win over a ranked opponent. Fans stormed the court to celebrate what will be this season’s home finale as one to remember. The team finishes up its regular season slate on Thursday at USF (7-20, 1-15 AAC).

Women’s Basketball: UCF (19-9, 9-6 AAC) had another successful week, extending its winning streak to six games. On Wednesday, the Knights picked up a 56-51 road win over Tulane (8-20, 4-11 AAC). Junior Fifi Ndour led all scorers with 14 points and eight rebounds. The team then returned home on Saturday to roll over SMU (15-13, 6-9 AAC) by a score of 63-37. Senior Zykira Lewis finished the day with 24 points, including five three-pointers. UCF’s senior night is Monday against Temple (22-6, 12-3 AAC).

Baseball: With four wins this week, the Knights (7-0, 0-0 AAC) stayed undefeated on the season. In a Tuesday night matchup with North Florida (4-4, 0-0), UCF won 3-2. Senior Ryan Crile hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie before freshman Rylan Thomas and sophomore Bryce Tucker finished off the Ospreys. The team then picked up a three-game weekend sweep of Manhattan (0-3, 0-0), outscoring the Jaspers 30-6. Junior Bryce Peterson led the way with a grand slam on Saturday night, while Crile delivered the go-ahead three-run double on Sunday afternoon. UCF will take on No. 2 Florida (6-1, 0-0) on Tuesday in Gainesville before returning for a home matchup with the Gators on Wednesday.

Softball: UCF (6-6, 0-0 AAC) went 3-2 over the weekend at the Easton Bama Bash, with both losses coming to No. 10 Alabama (13-2, 0-0). The team picked up 5-0 and 9-1 wins over Gardner-Webb (5-15, 0-0), as well as a 13-4 win over Texas Tech (8-7, 0-0). Through 12 games, junior Courtney Rotton leads the team in hitting with a .371 average. Freshman pitcher Kamryn Toney has a 2-0 record with a 0.70 ERA in 20 innings pitched this season. The Knights hit the road on Wednesday for a matchup against Florida Gulf Coast (8-6, 0-0) before returning home for a weekend invitational.

Track and Field: Over the weekend, UCF picked up its first indoor track and field conference championship since 2013, back when the school was still in Conference USA. Redshirt senior Anne-Marie Blaney continued her outstanding season, winning the 5,000-meter run. She was the runner-up in the 3,000-meter run, as well as the mile. She was named the Most Outstanding Track Performer of the conference meet. The team recorded 11 top-three finishes on their way to a two-point victory over runner-up Cincinnati.

Men’s Golf: Heading into play on Sunday, the Knights were in third place at the John Hayt Collegiate Invitational. They held the lead after Friday’s first round, but shooting 11 over par on Saturday dropped them into third.

Women’s Golf: The Knights finished up the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans on Monday. Overall, the team finished ninth. Senior Ashley Holder was the top performer for UCF, tying for fifth with a score of two under par.

Men’s Tennis: It was a rough week for the Knights (6-3, 0-1), who dropped two straight. On Saturday, they fell 4-1 to TCU (4-3, 0-0). Junior Danny Kerznerman was the only one to pick up a singles win, while UCF also dropped the doubles point. The team then fell to SMU (8-2, 1-0) on Sunday by a score of 4-2. UCF plays No. 11 Baylor (10-2, 0-0) on Monday.

Women’s Tennis: UCF (10-1, 0-0) went 2-0 over the weekend. It came away with a 4-1 win over Florida Atlantic (6-4, 1-0) on Friday. Senior Cortney Cesarini, juniors Emelia Granstrom, Elizabeth Bagerbaseh and Monica Matias, as well as sophomore Natalia Serrano, all picked up singles wins. The team also won the doubles point. On Saturday, they narrowly outlasted Liberty (5-5, 3-0), 4-3. UCF won the doubles point, then got singles victories from Cesarini, Matias and Serrano. The Knights hit the road next weekend to play SMU (8-2, 0-0) on Saturday.

 

Bailey Adams is a contributor for the Central Florida Focus. You can follow him on Twitter at @BaileyJAdams22 and you can email the sports team at EvanA@centralfloridafocus.com.