The women’s basketball team had a tough week, losing in double-digits to Temple on the road and falling to UCF at home over the weekend. These two losses mean that the Golden Hurricane will have back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 2009–11.
The women’s team struggled to shoot the ball in the loss to the Owls, making only 22 percent of their field goals, and only 60 percent from the free throw line. Shug Dickson, who had double-digit points in the last six games, only had five in the loss.
Erika Wakefield led the Golden Hurricane in scoring with 11 points on ten shots. The poor shooting in the early part of the game put the Golden Hurricane in an early hole, but the continued poor shooting in the second and third quarter put the game out of reach.
Though the scoreboard showed 70–43 as time ran out, the game was not even that close. The Owls led by 39 points with under four minutes to play, and didn’t offer much resistance defensively for the rest of the game.
Head Coach Matilda Mossman talked about the Golden Hurricane’s shooting after the game.
“Other than Taty[ana Perez] in the last three minutes, I don’t think anyone shot better than 30 percent. It was a tough day and when one player shoots poorly that tends to feed over to other players on the team. Give Temple all the credit — they came out aggressive, and we weren’t very efficient or functional against their defense.”
The 62–58 loss to UCF was a whole different story. Tulsa jumped out to an early lead, which was as high as nine going into the half, but let the Knights rally in the fourth quarter to take a four point win.
Wakefield led the Golden Hurricane offense for the second straight game with 15 points, and Kendrian Elliott tacked on ten, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the rally.
“I am really proud of our kids for the way they battled,” Mossman said. “We guarded as well as we could except for a period at the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth quarter when we couldn’t stop Aliyah Gregory. Overall we battled. They are an aggressively rebounding team and we held our own against them. They just shot the ball better in the second half. They shot 20 percent in the first half and came back and shot 47 percent in the second half.”
The Golden Hurricane couldn’t compete with the physical game that the Knights were playing. They ran into early foul trouble and senior forward Jessica Pongonis had to leave the game to get stitches.
Second chance points are really what put Central Florida over the edge. The scored 15 second chance points, to Tulsa’s five which, in a game this close, makes a big difference.
The women’s team play Houston the next week in the final four-game stretch to the conference tournament.