ORLANDO - Vanessa Hayden scored 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead Florida to its second win in as many days, 79-48 Saturday over Central Florida in its holiday classic.
Tara Taylor had 10 points for the Gators (8-2), who never have lost to UCF (2-6) in 22 meetings dating to 1979. Florida is 10-0 on UCF's home floor.
"Our players have done a tremendous job of staying focused with back-to-back games," Florida coach Carolyn Peck said. "Everything we did to prepare was mental because we never actually took the court (to practice) with such a short turnaround. We wanted to be aggressive and correct things we didn't do well the night before."
It was the Gators' third consecutive victory and sixth in the last seven games. The Golden Knights lost their third in a row.
Peck lauded the effort of Danielle Santos, who scored 13 and had 21 in the tournament.
"We talk a lot about Vanessa Hayden, as well we should, but Danielle has been playing some terrific basketball," she said. "She's really in a groove offensively and she's been great on the defensive side of the floor."
Ali Roberts led the Golden Knights with 13 points and five rebounds. Celeste Hudson scored 10.
Florida used a 19-0 run in a five-minute span early in the second half to put the game out of reach.
"I didn't have to talk to the team about picking up their intensity after halftime," Peck said. "They did it themselves."
A swarming Gator defense prevented UCF from attempting a field goal for the first 3:43. Florida forced five turnovers during that time and took a 7-0 lead.
UCF didn't hit its first field goal until the 15:14 mark of the first and had just two field goals in the first 10 minutes.
The Golden Knights used a 10-0 run, highlighted by a pair of three-pointers from Hudson, to cut a 12-point deficit to 19-17 with 7:30 left in the first. Florida, however, pushed the lead back to 16 with a 14-0 run and led 38-24 at halftime.
ECKERD 63, CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 51: Meredith Cook had a double-double to pace the host Tritons (4-5). Cook had 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Jen Ritter scored 13. Charlie Moore scored 10 for the Buccaneers (7-2).Friday
SOUTH FLORIDA 93, UC RIVERSIDE 59: Jessica Dickson scored 25 points and was one of four Bulls in double figures. South Florida (4-4) created with its defense. The visiting Bulls forced 26 turnovers and scored 42 off them. Nalini Miller scored 13, Andrea Armstrong 12 and Alana Tanksley 11. South Florida meets host UNLV at 6 p.m. today.