Feb. 11, 2014
ORLANDO, FLA (SMU) - Keena Mays scored 25 points, including two late threes to keep the game close, but it was not enough as UCF topped SMU in Orlando, 59-54, on Tuesday evening. Akil Simpson also added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Mustangs.
SMU fell to 14-10 (5-8 The American), while UCF earned its third league win, improving to 10-14 (3-10). Mays' 25 points marked her 13th game this season with 20 or more points and her fourth in the last five outings. Simpson has now scored in double-digits in 21 of SMU's 24 games this season.
SMU cut UCF's lead to three with 5:44 remaining, going on an 8-0 run with Mays collecting all eight points. In total, Mays scored 18 points in the final eight minutes of play. UCF opened its lead to 10 with 22 seconds remaining, but two three-pointers from Mays in the last 14 seconds kept the Mustangs' hope alive. UCF closed the game making eight of 10 free throw attempts over the final 51 seconds.
SMU trailed 25-23 at halftime after Mays hit a running jumper in the lane with five seconds left in the half to make it a one-possession game at the break. UCF made five-of-six three-pointers in the first half, helping the Knights boost their lead to eight, 23-15, with 4:36 left in the frame. SMU kept UCF scoreless for the next four minutes, but could only score five points during the stretch. The Mustangs did outrebound UCF in the opening frame, 19-16, including 13 rebounds on the offensive end.
Zykira Lewis led UCF with 22 points off the bench, including a five-for-nine mark from three-point land. SMU forced UCF into 21 turnovers, but only slightly edged the Knights in points off turnovers, 10-8.
Next up for the Mustangs will be a home game against Houston on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Mustangs are 20-10 all-time against Houston during head coach Rhonda Rompola's tenure.