ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's basketball team swallowed a tough 62-59 loss to Charlotte on Wednesday night at UCF Arena.
Facing a 3-point deficit with 12 seconds remaining, the Knights looked to send the game into overtime when freshman Briahanna Jackson took one dribble inside and pulled back for a deep shot. Her attempt sailed short, and the Knights ran out of time to complete their comeback.
"That's not what we drew up. We needed to penetrate and kick because we needed a 3-point shot," UCF head coach Joi Williams said. "We've got all the confidence in the world in her, that's why the ball was in her hands. She'll learn from it and we'll get better from it."
Jackson led the team in scoring for the sixth time this year with 18 points while senior Gevenia Carter tallied 15 points for her fifth-straight game in double digits. Junior Erika Jones grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
The first half featured six lead changes and six tied scores as neither team led by more than two possessions. UCF was primed to head into the locker room with a 22-21 edge after Carter knocked down two free throws with 15 seconds remaining, but Charlotte's Ny Hammonds beat the buzzer with a short jumper in the lane for a 23-22 lead.
The second half was still a ping pong match, and UCF got within 30-29 when Meghan Keough beat the shot clock with a deep trey from the left wing. But the 49ers responded with a 13-4 run capped by Jai Forney's layup with 9:35 to go for a 43-34 advantage.
The Knights resolutely chipped away at the deficit and were re-energized by a pair of free throws from Kayli Keough and two and-one plays from Jackson and Sara Djassi to cut it to 49-48.
UCF remained in the hunt down by one point with 46 seconds left when Jackson drove toward the basket looking for UCF's first lead since 16:40 to go in the game. Her attempt was blocked out of bounds, but she got another stab at the basket with a baseline jumper off the in-bounds play, which rimmed out.
Forced the foul, the Knights put Charlotte at the free throw line, where Ayanna Holmes converted both to ice the game.
The Knights will remain at home Sunday at 2 p.m. when they welcome Bethune-Cookman for their final matchup before a brief break for finals week. The team will be available for a post-game autograph session and Blue Man Group tickets will be raffled off during the game.
Season tickets, which start at only $30, are currently available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting UCFAthletics.com.