Dec. 12, 2011
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By Doug Richards
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will continue its four-game homestand Tuesday when the Knights face visiting North Carolina A&T at 7 p.m. at the UCF Arena. UCF is 6-2 this season and has won five of its last six contests.
Sophomore guard Isaiah Sykes (Detroit, Mich.) has shined for the Knights this year, and totaled a game-high 15 points Saturday as UCF topped Bethune-Cookman at the arena. Sykes hit a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining to give the Knights the victory. He is averaging 12.4 points in 2011-12, and has led the Knights in scoring in each of the team's last two games.
Junior forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) leads the Knights in points (16.4) and rebounds (8.9) per game. In the win over Bethune-Cookman, senior guard Jeff Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) had a strong performance, matching a career high with seven points and also recording two assists and two steals in 33 minutes in the starting effort.
Season tickets are still available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting UCFAthletics.com. On Tuesday, fans can purchase tickets outside the UCF Arena prior to the contest. UCF students are admitted free with a valid school ID.
After hosting North Carolina A&T (4-5), the Knights will close out the homestand Saturday versus Old Dominion. UCF is 4-0 in Orlando this year.
North Carolina A&T is led by Nic Simpson, who is averaging 11.8 points. The Aggies have had a challenging non-league schedule, and opened the campaign with contests at Creighton and Iowa.
Tuesday's contest will air on the UCF IMG Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will call all of the action from the arena.
Live video and live statistics will be available at UCFAthletics.com.
The Knights will be meeting North Carolina A&T for the second time
UCF opened up the 2008-09 campaign with an 81-62 win over the visiting Aggies at the UCF Arena on Nov. 16, 2008
Jermaine Taylor recorded a double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds in the win, and was one of four Knights who finished with double digits in points
UCF will be playing a MEAC program for the second-straight game as the Knights rallied for a 53-51 victory over visiting Bethune-Cookman Saturday
The Knights have won eight-straight games against MEAC programs, dating back to 2005
UCF is one of two Conference USA programs that North Carolina A&T will face this season as the Aggies are slated to play at Houston on Dec. 28
Last Time Out
Isaiah Sykes hit a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining to lift UCF to a 53-51 victory over Bethune-Cookman Saturday at the UCF Arena
Sykes' free throws helped UCF complete an impressive comeback as the Knights trailed by nine points with 5:36 to play in the game
UCF trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half and was down 28-22 at intermission
Sykes finished with a game-high 15 points and made 7-of-9 free-throw attempts
The Knights shot 20-of-25 (80.0 percent) at the line and made 12-of-16 attempts after intermission
UCF has not lost a non-conference game at home under Donnie Jones
The Knights are 15-0 at the UCF Arena against non-league opponents since the start of last season
The team is 4-0 at home in 2011-12
UCF has five remaining home non-league games this year
The Knights have not suffered a non-conference loss at home since falling to Jacksonville on Dec. 30, 2009, in the UCF Holiday Classic championship game
UCF has won 15-straight non-league games in Orlando
Happy to Be Home
The Knights are currently enjoying a four-game homestand
The contest with North Carolina A&T is the third of the stretch for the Knights, who have just one road game (at Louisiana on Dec. 21) this month
The contest against North Carolina A&T is the second of three in seven days for the Knights
The team opened the busy week Saturday versus Bethune-Cookman, and will host Old Dominion this upcoming Saturday
The Comeback Kids
UCF has rallied for victories in two games this year when trailing at halftime
The Knights were down by nine points at the break against No. 4 UConn on Nov. 25 at the Battle 4 Atlantis, and trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half before rallying for a 68-63 victory
Last Saturday, Bethune-Cookman led 28-22 at the break and the Knights recovered for a 53-51 win
A Milestone Within Reach
With 13 points on Saturday against Bethune-Cookman, Keith Clanton eclipsed the 900-point mark for his career
The junior has totaled 911 points in only 73 contests as a Knight
The 1,000-point milestone is within reach for the Orlando native, who will be seeking to become only the 15th player in program history to pass the plateau
Getting On Line
Isaiah Sykes is shooting 50.9 percent for the year from the free-throw line, but made major strides at the charity stripe the last two games
The sophomore made 11-of-15 (73.3 percent) of his foul shots in wins over Hartford and Bethune-Cookman, and hit the game-winning free throws in last Saturday's win over the Wildcats
Start it Up
Jeff Jordan made just the third start of his collegiate career Saturday in UCF's win over Bethune-Cookman, and the redshirt senior point guard had a solid outing
Jordan matched a career high with seven points and also added two assists and two steals in 33 minutes
He hit his first 3-pointer as a Knight, and just the fifth triple of his career, in the win over the Wildcats at the UCF Arena
UCF will close out its four-game homestand Saturday against Old Dominion, a program that has played in two-straight NCAA Tournaments and won 27 games a year ago
The Monarchs are the first of two Colonial Athletic Association squads that UCF could face this year as James Madison is scheduled to play in the UCF Holiday Classic later this month