Women’s Basketball: Previewing UConn’s conference tournament semifinal opponent UCF


A photo of the court following UConn’s 105-57 win over Tulsa on March 4, 2017 at Mohegan Sun Arena. (Jackson Haigis/The Daily Campus)

UNCASVILLE— After UConn’s 105-57 win over Tulsa in quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference, the Huskies will take on UCF in the semi-finals. A win over the Knights would give UConn its fourth-straight American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship appearance.

Game info: 5 p.m.at Mohegan Sun Arena. The game can be seen on ESPN 2.

Players to watch: Aliyah Gregory led the Knights in scoring this season averaging 16.7 points per game, landing herself on the All-Conference First Team. In the quarterfinals victory over Tulane, Gregory scored 11 points on 5-16 shooting from the field.  Against UConn earlier this season, she shot 9-17 from the field for 18 points as she averages 19.9 points in conference play.

Zykria Lewis will look to improve from her last outing against UConn as she scored 17 points but went 1-7 from behind the arc. On the year, Lewis is averaging 15.5 points per game and has hit a team best 66 three pointers. Against Tulane, she was 5-18 from the field and 4-13 from deep as she finished with 11 points, five assists and four steals.

Snapshot of the season: Under first-year coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, the Knights went 19-10 in the regular season, finishing the year with a 6-2 record in February that included a road win over No. 22 USF on Feb. 14 and a win a 56-51 win at Tulane on Feb. 22.

Road to the semifinals: UCF defeated Tulane 61-57 in the quarterfinals thanks largely in part to Zykira Lewis, who scored 17 points for the Knights. UCF pulled away thanks to a 28-point fourth quarter

History vs. UConn: UConn is 5-0 all-time against UCF, including a 36-point victory this season on Jan. 1. Sunday’s matchup marks the first time that the two schools will meet in conference tournament play.

How they can beat UConn: In order to upset the Huskies, the Knights are going to have to find a way to score more than their season average of 64.1 points per game. The Knights are not a great three pointing team as they only average three makes per game while shooting 29 percent. They have let up 5.2 made 3-pointers to their opponents and will have to close out on Samuelson in order to walk away with the win.

Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at matthew.kren@uconn.edu.

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