Wichita State played shot-for-shot with the second-best team in the American Athletic Conference for three quarters Wednesday.
Then a prolonged scoring drought cost the Shockers as UCF won, 57-49.
Wichita State (11-14, 4-8) had a chance at a fifth win in seven games entering the fourth quarter. But the Shockers went scoreless for 11:01 of game time, turning a 40-39 lead with 3:46 left in the third quarter into a 53-40 deficit late in the fourth.
The Shockers committed five fouls in the first 3:09 of the fourth quarter, along with numerous turnovers. UCF (21-5, 10-3) shot the ball well all game from about 15 feet and generated a number of second-chance opportunities.
When Wichita State was playing well, it attacked UCF’s 3-2 zone defense and occasional press, leading to several close-range baskets and an early free-throw advantage.
Sabrina Lozada-Cabbage led the Shockers with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists, in addition to several defensive deflections.
Wichita State plays at South Florida (14-12, 5-7) on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT, a big opportunity for the team to improve its seed ahead of the AAC tournament that starts March 8.
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