Tiffani Couisnard scored the final three points of the game to give Tulsa a 54-51 win over UCF on Thursday night at the Donald W. Reynolds Center. TU moved to 7-11 on the season and 2-3 in Conference USA, while the Knights fell to 6-12 overall and 0-4 in the league.
"I thought the way that we won tonight was huge," Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. "We haven't been good at finishing halves, whether it's the first or second half. I don't want to play those games all the time where you have to grind it out. The fact that we came out with a win tonight and the way we did it I think will pay dividends down the road."
Taleya Mayberry hit a team-best 22 points, while Kadan Brady scored 11 points. Loren McDaniel pulled down 15 rebounds and had three assists, and Couisnard tallied seven points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three blocks in 31 minutes of play.
TU shot 29-percent from the field, 40-percent from behind the arc and 70-percent from the charity stripe. The Hurricane had 12 points in the paint and 12 points off turnovers, held a 40-37 advantage in rebounds, a 10-9 lead in steals and an 11-10 advantage in assists. Both teams had five blocks.
There were 10 lead changes and four tied scores, including a 16-all score with 7:24 on the clock, but the Knights went on a 13-3 run that spanned 3:48 off the clock to take a 10-point lead. The Hurricane closed out the first frame with a 6-2 run to go into the break trailing 31-25.
Tulsa started the second half on an 11-5 run to tie the contest at 36-all with 15:03 on the clock. Neither team led by more than three-points for the rest of the game and there were six more tied scores including a 51-51 score with 2:31 left to play. Couisnard hit a free throw at the 1:59 mark to give TU the lead and then scored on a jumper with just 11-seconds left for the final 54-51 score and the win.
UCF was led by Gevenia Carter with 11 points, Erika Jones with 10 rebounds and three blocks and Briahanna Jackson with three assists. The Knights shot 37-percent from the field, including 35-percent from three-point range, and 75-percent (6-of-8) from the free throw line.
Tulsa will return to action on Sunday, January 27th against SMU. Game time is set for 2:00 pm at the Reynolds Center.