Men’s Basketball: After last Sunday’s 15-point loss to UConn (7-10, 2-3), UCF (13-4, 4-1) bounced back with a win over Houston (13-5, 4-2) on Saturday afternoon. In front of an announced crowd of 5,489, the Knights hung on late for a 77-70 win over the Cougars with redshirt sophomore guard B.J. Taylor leading the way with 20 points. Redshirt junior forward A.J. Davis added 15 while every player in UCF’s starting lineup ended up in double figures. The Knights take the court again this Tuesday, hosting I-4 rival, the USF Bulls (6-10, 0-5) at the CFE Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Women’s Basketball: The Knights (11-6, 1-3) snapped a four-game losing streak on Wednesday night, beating the Houston Cougars (8-9, 1-3) on the road 62-48. UCF outscored Houston 22-9 in the third quarter to take a commanding lead after trailing by one at halftime. Senior guard Zykira Lewis and redshirt senior forward Joslyn Massey were at the forefront of the Knights’ charge. Lewis had 17 points in 29 minutes, while Massey put up a double-double (11 points and 11 rebounds). UCF finishes its road trip on Wednesday against East Carolina (10-8, 1-4) before returning to the CFE Arena on Saturday for a 1 p.m. matchup with Tulsa (5-12, 1-3).
Cheerleading: On Saturday evening, the UCF cheer team finished second (behind only defending champion Kentucky) in the UCA National Semifinals to advance to Sunday’s final round. The Knights placed fourth overall, behind Ole Miss (third), Alabama (runner-up) and Kentucky (champion). The team now has 12 consecutive top-four finishes, but saw its three-year runner-up streak come to an end.
Men’s Tennis: UCF tennis opened up a new era over the weekend at its new home, the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona. On Saturday, the men’s team, under new head coach and director of tennis John Roddick, upset No. 23 Texas Tech by a score of 4-3. The Red Raiders won the doubles point, then took two of the first four singles points to grab a 3-2 lead. The Knights responded well, as junior Korey Lovett tied it at three before sophomore Kalman Boyd clinched the win. The team didn’t suffer from any letdown on Sunday, improving to 2-0 with a win over New Mexico.
Women’s Tennis: The women’s team started its season off with two straight wins. On Wednesday, UCF took down Flagler by a score of 5-2. Then, on Friday, it picked up a 5-2 win over Florida Tech. The Knights suffered their first loss of the season on Sunday, falling 5-2 to the Iowa Hawkeyes. UCF picked up the doubles point, but couldn’t do enough in singles to come away with a third straight win. Through three matches, junior Emelia Granstrom hasn’t lost in singles or doubles action.
Women’s Golf: Three golfers placed in the top-10 in all four rounds of Saturday’s South Atlantic Women’s Amateur Championship. Senior Ashley Holder, sophomore Nicolette Donovan and sophomore Anna Hack got things rolling for the team’s spring season. Holder shot a 283 over the course of four rounds. Her 66 in the final round pulled her into a tie for third place. The team continues its season on Jan. 30 at the Florida Challenge in Lecanto, Fla.
Track and Field: The Knights opened their 2017 indoor season on Friday at the UAB Blazer Invite in Birmingham. Senior J’Nea Bellamy won the 60-meter dash, running it in 7.47 seconds. Overall, the team put up 11 top five finishes at the invite. The next meet, the Rod McCravy Memorial, is next Friday and Saturday in Lexington, Ky.
Soccer: UCF played host to two Florida Cup games on Sunday at Bright House Networks Stadium. The afternoon started with a game in the FC Playoff, as River Plate played Millionarios FC. In the FC Challenge, BAHIA took on Estudiantes. The tournament runs through January 21, with more games at UCF on Wednesday and Saturday. For a full schedule of games, check www.floridacup.com.
Bailey Adams is a contributor for the Central Florida Focus. You can follow him on Twitter at @BaileyJAdams22.