Knights Ready For Rival


Feb. 4, 2014

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By Andy Seeley
UCFKnights.com

MEN'S BASKETBALL - UCF (9-10, 1-7) vs. USF (11-11, 2-7)
 Date | Time Wednesday, February 5 | 7 p.m.
 Location CFE Arena - Directions
 Tickets UCF Tickets at UCFKnights.com | By Phone: 407.823.1000
 TV ESPNews | Watch ESPN
 Radio 740 The Game
 Live Stats Gametracker
 Game Notes UCF | USF
 Official Web Sites UCF | USF
 UCF Social Media @UCF_MBasketball | Facebook | YouTube

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF men's basketball team is back at CFE Arena Wednesday night for a rivalry matchup with USF. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET.

UCF fans are encouraged to wear black to the game and Black Out the Bulls.

This is the 28th meeting on the hardwood between the Knights and Bulls, but it will be the first time the two squads have ever squared off as members of the same conference. UCF and USF played a non-conference home-and-home series last season, with the road team winning both games.

UCF hammered the Bulls in last year's season-opener in Tampa, 74-56. USF returned the favor, defeating the Knights 65-56 at CFE Arena later in the season.

Barnes & Noble will be offering a buy one-get one half off special for clearance items on Wednesday, so fans wishing to purchase black items to wear at the game will have the opportunity to do so. For this Sunday's game, UCF is encouraging fans to wear white. With the Barnes & Noble special on clearance items, fans can purchase one black and one white item.

In addition to the Black Out, UCF student-athletes will be honored at halftime for their academic success. For students, the UCF Student Government Association will be hosting a pre-game event in front of the arena from 4-6 p.m. SGA will be giving away Black Out shirts and there will be food and entertainment available at the event.

UCF-USF QUICK NOTES
• Since winning their first-ever home American Athletic Conference game, the Knights are still searching for their second league victory. UCF defeated Temple back on Jan. 4, but have dropped six straight since.

• UCF came into the Louisville game last week averaging just 62.1 points per game in league play. The Knights’ 70-point output was their highest scoring production since an 85-75 loss at Rutgers on Jan. 15.

• The Knights were allowing an average of nearly 84 points per game to conference foes through the first four games. UCF has clamped down on defense, holding its last four opponents to just 70.8 points per game.

• UCF remains the top rebounding squad in the American Athletic Conference. The Knights average 39.6 rebounds per contest. UCF has tallied more rebounds than its opponent in 12 of its 19 contests. Wednesday’s opponent -- USF - is No. 9 at 35.9 boards per game.

• Louisville opened with a 20-6 run Saturday. From there, the Knights went toe-to-toe with the defending champs. UCF outscored the Cardinals 58-43 over the next 26 minutes. Louisville’s edge outside the 20-6 start was just 67-64.

• The Knights just finished a stretch of three consecutive games against Top 25 squads. Wednesday’s opponent -- USF -- is the only non-ranked opponent in a span of six games, dating back to Jan. 23.

JACK OF ALL TRADES
• In addition to being the only player in the American Athletic Conference in the Top 15 in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and field-goal percentage, Isaiah Sykes leads the Knights in many statistical categories.

• The senior, who was selected to the American Athletic Conference All-Preseason 2nd Team, is tops on the Knights in scoring, rebounding, assists, minutes played, field goals made/attempted and free throws made/attempted. He is second on the squad in steals.

• Sykes, who led the country with two triple-doubles in 2012-13, bolstered his scoring average with a career-best and team season-high 29 points at Rutgers on Jan. 15. He has reached the 20-point plateau six times this season, including 24 last Wed. vs. Memphis.

AMONG THE BEST
• Sykes moved to No. 10 on the UCF career scoring list after last Wedneday’s game vs. Memphis. He now has 1,318 points in 115 contests.

• Sykes is also among the program’s all-time leaders in rebounds (6th, 678), steals (6th, 160) and assists (7th, 297).

• He and Jerry Prather (1974-78) are the only Knights in the UCF career Top 10 for points, rebounds, steals and assists.

SPURLOCK=SUPER-SUB?
• After shooting 12-of-43 (.279) from the field and averaging just 7.4 points per game in the first five conference contests this year, senior forward Tristan Spurlock was removed from the starting lineup.

• The Knights hoped he could provide a spark off the bench. In his first two games as a reserve, things were no better. He was 2-of-6 (.333) and scored just four points.

• But he may have started adjusting to his new role Saturday at Louisville. The Woodbridge, Va. native hit 6-of-9 field-goal attempts (including 3-of-6 from the 3-point arc), was 5-of-5 from the free-throw line and scored 20 points.

• That 20-point output was Spurlock’s highest scoring performance in a conference game since he put up 23 in an overtime loss at East Carolina on Jan. 12, 2013.


 

 

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