Women’s Hoops Falls to UCF, 72-43
ORLANDO, Fla. – Mercer women's basketball got a team-high 14 points from Briana Williams in a 72-43 loss to Central Florida Sunday afternoon at UCF Arena. Mercer fell to 0-4 while UCF bumped its record to 2-1.
Williams scored eight of her 14 in the first half and also collected two rebounds and a pair of steals in the loss.
Mercer forced two turnovers in the opening minute and took a 3-0 lead on a Williams triple from the corner. After Williams' shot, Mercer would go scoreless for the next 4:28 as UCF scored eight-straight points.
Open looks weren't falling for Mercer in the early going, as the Bears went 8-of-37 from the floor in the first half. Three of Mercer's first half field goals were contributed by junior Ry'van Buchanan, who was three-of-four from the floor including a pair of threes from the top of the key.
Buchanan finished with eight points and six boards.
A transition layup by UCF's Aisha Patrick gave the Knights their biggest lead of the first half (34-17) with just over a minute remaining. Williams dialed up her second three of the half with 41 tics left to send Mercer to the locker room behind, 34-20.
Mercer shook off the cold first-half shooting performance in the early going of the second period. Bridges and Williams hit back-to-back jumpers before Sharnea Boykin stole a pass in the backcourt and went the distance, cutting Mercer's deficit to 10 (36-26).
The Knights responded with six-straight points, moving the margin back to 16 with 15:38 to go. From then on, the UCF lead would balloon to as many as 31 before the final buzzer.
After being outscored 28-4 in the first half, Mercer showed a marked improvement in the category in the second half. The final 20 minutes saw UCF hold an 18-14 advantage in the paint.
Mercer returns to action with the second game of a five-game road stretch at Wake Forest on November 23. Game time is scheduled for noon.