Women's Basketball Hits the Road for Re-Match with Marshall


GO KNIGHTS Marshay White and the Knights begin a two-game road trip on Friday vs. Marshall.
GO KNIGHTS
Marshay White and the Knights begin a two-game road trip on Friday vs. Marshall.
GO KNIGHTS

Feb. 13, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Following a four-game homestand, the UCF women's basketball team hits the road for a two-game road swing beginning Friday at Marshall. Tip-off in the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington, W.Va., is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will be carried live on UCFAthletics.com with Scott Adams on the call.

The Knights (8-15, 1-9 Conference USA) will be looking to avenge a heartbreaking 77-75 overtime loss to the Thundering Herd that took place on Jan. 31 in the new UCF Arena. Freshman guard Angelica Mealing (Decatur, Ga.) nailed an off-balance three-pointer as time expired in regulation to send the game into overtime, but Marshall out-scored UCF 11-9 in the extra period to take the win.

"We're excited about another opportunity to face Marshall," UCF head coach Joi Williams said. "Our last game with them was an exciting one with it going to overtime. It was a game full of turnovers, also, and I'm sure both teams have worked hard to clean that up - I know we have. We have to focus on our defense and rebounding in order to be successful on Friday night."

UCF is led by freshman forward/center Tia Lewis (Poulan, Ga.), who ranks fourth in the nation and first in Conference USA in rebounding with 11.8 boards per game. Lewis also averages a squad-best 12.6 ppg, which ranks third in the league. She is second in C-USA in double-doubles with 14 and leads the nation in double-dips by a freshman. Freshman forward Emma Cannon (Rochester, N.Y.) follows with 11.9 ppg, good for 16th in the conference, and is fourth in the league with 9.2 rpg. Freshman guard Marshay White (Rochester, N.Y.) adds 11.1 ppg.

As a team, the Knights rank first in Conference USA in rebounding margin with a +5.7 advantage. UCF is second in the league in rebounding offense, averaging 42.6 boards per game. The Knights have out-rebounded their opponents in 15 contests this season, including six of their last nine games.

 

 

"We're trying to get better every game out," Williams said. "We have specific goals and we don't go into the last six games thinking about a whole lot of things. We're focusing on a few things, and defense is the biggest part of that. We hope to get our offense through our defense. We're really just taking it one game at a time, one possession at a time, hoping to get better."

UCF and Marshall meet for the seventh time in school history with the Thundering Herd holding a 5-1 advantage in the all-time series. The teams have met four times since the Knights joined Conference USA, having also met during the 1986-87 campaign. The lone win for UCF in the series came on Feb. 24, 2006, in Huntington, W.Va.

Marshall has lost six of its last seven games and enters Friday's contest with a 12-12 overall record and a 4-6 league mark. The Thundering Herd begins a four-game homestand with its game against UCF, as Marshall has played four of its last five games on the road. The Herd are a strong defensive team, ranking third in Conference USA in steals with 9.33 swipes per game and fourth in turnover margin with a +1.29 advantage. Five of Marshall's last six games have been decided by 10 or fewer points.

Under the direction of head coach Royce Chadwick, who earlier this season earned his 500th career win, Marshall is led by a pair of guards in junior Casey Baker and senior Kizzy Hart. Baker leads the conference and ranks 17th in the NCAA in steals per game with 3.13. She is the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 11.8 ppg, while Hart ranks 10th in the conference with a squad-best 13.0 ppg.

"Marshall's hungry and that's like any team," Williams said. "We're struggling right now trying to find that win just like they are. The thing about it is that we are on their home court. We've talked about the fact that they've struggled, but so have we. It's going to be a battle of wills and we've got to want it. That's why defense and rebounding are especially important when you go on the road."

The game will mark a homecoming of sorts for UCF assistant coach Greg Brown. A native of Shepherdsville, Ky., Brown attended high school in the Huntington, W.Va., area.

Following UCF's game vs. Marshall, the Knights will travel to Greenville, N.C., for a Sunday match-up with East Carolina. Tip-off for that contest is slated for 2 p.m.

UCF will play host to the 2008 Conference USA Women's Basketball Tournament, March 6-9, at the new UCF Arena. Single-game and session ticket packages are now available. Call the UCFAA Ticket Sales Office at 407-823-1000. For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Quick Notes

  • UCF and Marshall meet for the seventh time in school history with the Thundering Herd holding a 5-1 advantage in the all-time series. The teams have met four times since the Knights joined Conference USA, having also met during the 1986-87 campaign. The lone win for UCF in the series came on Feb. 24, 2006, in Huntington, W.Va.
  • As a team, UCF ranks first in Conference USA in rebound margin with a +5.7 margin on the boards. The Knights have out-rebounded their opponents in 15 games this season.
  • UCF has held 21 of its 23 opponents this season to 50 percent shooting or less, including 12 of its last 13.
  • The Knights lead Conference USA in double-doubles by a team with 24. Tia Lewis has notched a squad-best 14 double-dips on the year, which ranks her first in the nation in double-doubles by a freshman.
  • Through 23 games this season, UCF head coach Joi Williams has used 12 different starting lineups.
  • The Knights have placed at least two players in double-figure scoring in every game this season. Three or more UCF players have scored in double figures on 18 occasions this year.
  • Freshman forward/center Tia Lewis is the only player to start in each of the team's 23 games this season.
  • Pre-Game Quotes - UCF Head Coach Joi Williams

    "We're excited about another opportunity to face Marshall. Our last game with them was an exciting one with it going to overtime. It was a game full of turnovers, also, and I'm sure both teams have worked hard to clean that up - I know we have. We have to focus on our defense and rebounding in order to be successful."

    On Marshall having lost six of its last seven games...
    "They're hungry and that's like any team. We're struggling right now trying to find that win just like Marshall is. The thing about that is that we are on their home court. We've talked about the fact that they've struggled, but so have we. It's going to be a battle of wills and we've got to want it. That's why defense and rebounding are especially important when you go on the road."

    On how the team has worked on its defense over the past week...
    "We have really just gotten back to basics and done a lot of repetition. The thing with this young basketball team is that it takes a lot of constant repetition and constant teaching about different things. We've drilled it and drilled it, so, hopefully, it will carry over into the game tomorrow night."

    On what she hopes to accomplish in the team's final six games...
    "Just like we've been working on, we're trying to get better every game out. We have specific goals and we don't go into it thinking about a whole lot of things. We're focusing on a few things, and defense is the biggest part of that. We hope to get our offense through our defense. We're really just taking it one game at a time, one possession at a time, hoping to get better."

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