Dec. 14, 2009
UCF-Alabama Game Notes
By Andrew Gavin
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's basketball team begins a four-game homestand Monday night at 7 p.m., and the Knights will look for revenge against an Alabama (5-4) team which defeated them 67-53 a season ago in Tuscaloosa. The Knights (2-3) will also be hoping to get on the right track after dropping back-to-back close games against Washington and Florida Atlantic by a combined five points.
Monday's game will be televised live on both Bright House Sports Network and CSS. Mark Wise will serve as the color analyst while Bernie Guenther will handle the play-by-ply duties. BHSN is channel 47 on Bright House cable in the central Florida region. CSS is channel 29 in Orlando for those with Comcast as their cable provider.
In both of their previous losses, the Knights struggled offensively and fell behind by as many 15 points in the second half before furiously rallying late. In the 63-61 loss at FAU, sophomore Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) made good use of her 38 minutes of playing time, tallying 12 points, eight rebounds, five steals and a pair of assists to lead UCF.
Despite losing its last game at the UCF Arena, the Knights will draw on the comforts of home to try to return to their winning ways. In the past two seasons, UCF has won 10 of 15 games on its home floor, including eight in a row prior to the Washington loss.
Alabama comes to Orlando after a lengthy layoff. The Crimson Tide, looking for its first road win, has not played since defeating Northwestern State 61-56 on Sunday, Dec. 6. Alabama has primarily played close games in 2009-10, with eight of its nine contests being decided by 10 points or less, including two in overtime.
The contest will feature a live audio internet broadcast through Stretch Audio Internet, and it can be heard free of charge by clicking here. Scott Adams and Andrew Gavin will be on the call, with the broadcast set to begin at 6:45 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: Juniors Emma Cannon and Chelsie Wiley each scored 13 points for UCF, but the Knights rally at FAU fell short, 63-61. UCF hit only 3-of-15 from long range in the contest and fell behind by 15 midway through the second half.
THE SERIES: Alabama leads the all-time series with UCF 4-0. The two teams met a season ago in Tuscaloosa with the Crimson Tide winning 67-53 on Dec. 2, 2008. Both teams shot poorly as Erika Russell scored 14 points for Alabama and Wiley scored 11 for the Knights. The last meeting in Orlando was on Dec. 19, 2003, with `Bama beating UCF 63-41 in the UCF Holiday Classic.
UCF VS. SEC: UCF will be looking for its first win all-time against the Southeastern Conference, dating all the way back to the program's inception. Heading into Wednesday's game, the Knights are 0-42 all-time against the SEC. UCF has played nine of the 12 programs in the SEC, and 24 of those losses have come against in-state rival Florida.
INTENSE STRETCH: After playing just four games through the season's first month, UCF is in the midst of an intense stretch. Tonight's contest marks the second of four games the Knights will play in nine days.
START IT UP: Two members of the Knights' starting backcourt have lengthy current streaks of consecutive starts. Sophomore Aisha Patrick started her 30th-straight game at FAU, and has now started 38 of 39 games in her career. Assuming she is penciled into the lineup, Wiley will be making her 30th-straight start against the Crimson Tide.
UCF'S FOUR-PACK: Through four games this season, UCF has shows it is a balanced team. Not only are returning all-conference players Cannon (13.2) and Wiley (12.0) averaging in double figures, but junior Marshay White (11.8) and Patrick (11.6) have joined them with averages over 10 per game. The foursome is the only group of four teammates in C-USA averaging in double figures and the only group among the league's top-20 scorers.
TOUGH SLATE: A year after playing one of the nation's most difficult non-conference schedules, UCF will again be challenged in 2009-10. The Knights' already played #24 MTSU, and the schedule also includes home games against ranked Notre Dame and Florida State teams. Notre Dame is currently third while FSU is ranked as high as seventh in one poll.
OFFENSIVE GLASS CLEANERS: Like a season ago, UCF has hit the offensive glass well early in 2009-10. With 17 offensive rebounds against FAU, the Knights are averaging 17.4 per contest, good for second in Conference USA. Cannon led the league in offensive boards a season a ago, and is doing so again with an average of 5.5 a game.
Season and single-game tickets are currently available with the UCF Ticket Office. Knight fans can purchase season tickets for each of the team's 14 home games for just $39. For more information on purchasing tickets, contact the UCF ticket office at (407) 823-1000.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.