No. 25 UCF women clamp down on SMU 61-28 in AAC semifinal

Mar 9, 2022, 2:14 AM | Updated: 4:18 pm
UCF forward Brittney Smith (32) shoots as SMU forward Savannah Wilkinson (12) defends in the first ...

UCF forward Brittney Smith (32) shoots as SMU forward Savannah Wilkinson (12) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball semifinal round game at the women's American Athletic Conference tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)

(AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Brittney Smith led a balanced offense with 13 points and No. 25 UCF’s nation-best defense had its best game of the season with a 61-28 win over SMU in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament on Wednesday.

Going into the game, the top-seeded Knights were allowing 48.1 points per game and held 16 teams under 50 points and seven under 40.

Now they have held one under 30.

Diamond Battles scored 11 points for UCF (24-3), which has won 12 straight. Masseny Kaba and Shania Meertens added 10 each.

The Knights face the winner of the late semifinal between second-seeded USF and sixth-seeded Houston. USF beat UCF in the championship game last year.

Kayla White had a team-high eight points for the Mustangs (14-14), who had their lowest scoring game of the season by shooting a season-low 24.5% (12 of 49) with 22 turnovers.

SMU is the seventh team UCF held under 30% shooting, the lowest being Temple at 23.1%.

The Knights scored the first 11 points of the game, led 15-3 after the first quarter and 28-15 at the half. SMU shot 27%, missed all five of its 3-pointers and had 11 turnovers.

SMU shot 21% in the second half and UCF settled the game with a dominating 20-6 third-quarter advantage.

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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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No. 25 UCF women clamp down on SMU 61-28 in AAC semifinal