Feb. 21, 2006
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ORLANDO - The UCF men's basketball team returns to the hardwood on Wednesday evening, hosting Conference USA foe East Carolina. Tip-off at Torchy Clark Court at UCF Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.
UCF (10-13, 4-6 C-USA) will be looking to sweep the season series with the Pirates. With four games remaining in the regular season, the Golden Knights are currently sixth in the C-USA standings.
East Carolina is 8-16 overall and 2-9 in league play.
Tickets for the game are still available. Call (407) UCF-1000 for more information or to purchase tickets.
The contest will be aired live on the UCF ISP Sports Network and its flagship station, WQTM - 740 THE TEAM. Marc Daniels will have the call from courtside. Audio of the contest is also available on www.UCFathletics.com as part of the "Golden Knights All-Access" package.
UCF LAST TIME OUT
SMU shot 54 percent from the floor for the game as the Mustangs claimed a 77-55 win at home over UCF on Saturday. In 26 minutes off of the bench, Josh Peppers led the Golden Knights with 14 points. UCF shot just 28.6 percent from the floor in the first half and trailed, 36-22, at intermission. Troy Lindbeck was 4-of-5 from three-point range and finished with 12 points in the loss. Anthony Williams matched a career-high with 13 rebounds.
ABOUT EAST CAROLINA
The Pirates snapped a four-game losing streak on Saturday with a 63-59 victory over visiting Marshall. Courtney Captain made four free throws in the last 14 seconds to secure the win for the Pirates. Corey Rouse led the hosts with 20 points and 14 boards for his 14th double-double of the year. East Carolina was 14-of-14 at the free-throw line.
On the season, Rouse is averaging 14.3 points per game and ranks first in Conference USA with a 10.8 rebounding average. He is shooting at a 53.3 percent clip. Japhet McNeil leads the league in assists per contest (6.3). The Pirates are averaging 64 points an outing and rank last in the league in field-goal percentage (40.5). The team is 1-9 on the road in 2005-06 and 0-5 in conference play.
UCF has a 3-0 edge in the all-time series and the squads will be meeting in Orlando for the second time. On Jan. 25 in Greenville, N.C., Justin Rose scored 18 points to lift UCF to a 64-59 win over the host Pirates. The Golden Knights shot 60.9 percent from the field in the first half and 46.5 percent for the game. The Pirates trailed by only five late in the contest, but the Golden Knights hit six free throws in the final 1:30 to secure the victory. Anthony Williams totaled 11 of his 14 points in the first half. Corey Rouse paced the Pirates with 22 points and 12 rebounds in the losing effort.
In the only series meeting in Orlando, UCF posted an 88-81 victory over East Carolina on Dec. 30, 2000. Paul Reed scored a game-high 22 points for the Golden Knights.
East Carolina junior guard Courtney Captain attended San Jacinto College in Texas before transferring to ECU. San Jacinto is the same junior college that produced former Golden Knight standout Roberto Morentin. Morentin played at UCF from 2002-04.
In UCF's last three games, its bench is averaging 36.3 points. The Golden Knight reserves accounted for 47 points against Houston on Feb. 15, compared to 24 for the starters. Josh Peppers, who came off of the bench for the first time in 42 games versus Tulane on Feb. 11, is averaging 14 points in the last three contests as a reserve.
UCF is limiting opponents to only 64.1 points per contest this season, the third-best mark in Conference USA. This season, the Golden Knights have held 12 foes to below 60 points, including four in league play.
Dating back to the start of the 2001-02 season, the Golden Knights are 51-15 in games played at UCF Arena. In 2004-05, the team went 12-3 at home, the second-best home win total in program history (14 in 1993-94). This season, the squad is 8-5 in Orlando.
Two of UCF's 2005-06 opponents are ranked in the Feb. 20 Associated Press Top 25 poll -- Memphis (4) and Florida (12). Five teams that the Golden Knights have faced or will play are currently receiving votes in the poll. UAB, Western Kentucky, UTEP, Houston and Kentucky are all receiving votes.
CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
For the second-straight year, Memphis will host the Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship at FedEx Forum from March 8-11. Twelve teams will compete for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The squads with the four best conference records earn first-round byes. First round games are slated for March 8. The championship contest is scheduled for March 11 at 11:45 a.m. Eastern on CBS.
THIS DATE IN UCF HISTORY
On Feb. 22, 1995, UCF recorded a 75-64 victory at Florida Atlantic. Ochiel Swaby led the Golden Knights with 19 points against the Owls.
UCF will make its third and final trip to Texas this season as it faces Rice on Saturday in Houston. The Owls have a 1-0 series edge... Rice recorded a 65-63 win over the Golden Knights at home on Dec. 13, 1977. Cleveland Jackson paced UCF (then called Florida Tech) with 26 points. Jerry Prather scored 17 points in the losing effort. Rice was paced by Frank Jackson who had 18 points and eight rebounds. The Golden Knights had a 33-30 lead the half and shot 55.6 percent overall for the game... The 1977-78 season marked one of the best campaigns in school history. UCF, coached by Torchy Clark, posted a 26-4 mark and advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four. The loss at Rice was one of the team's two regular season losses, which both came to Division I squads (Lamar, Rice)... In 2005-06, the Golden Knights have already faced Houston and SMU in the Lone Star State.