Men's Basketball Returns Home to Host Norfolk State

Dec. 15, 2005

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ORLANDO - After two contests on the road, the UCF men's basketball team returns home on Firday to host Norfolk State at 7:30 p.m. at Torchy Clark Court at UCF Arena. UCF head coach Kirk Speraw will be seeking his 200th-career victory on Friday.

The Golden Knights (4-2) have won nine-consecutive games at home. Norfolk State enters the contest with a 2-5 mark on the year.

Every fan that brings a new, unwrapped toy to the game will be given a free general admission ticket. All toys will be donated to the XL 106.7 Baby DJ Fund, which helps families who are finding themselves in unfortunate circumstances this holiday season.

Tickets for the game are still available. Call (407) UCF-GOLD for more information or to purchase tickets.

Friday's game 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 RETURNS HOME TO FACE NORFOLK STATE After a pair of games on the road, UCF returns home looking for its first win since Nov. 29. The Golden Knights have dropped two contests in a row, including a 59-54 loss at Florida Atlantic on Tuesday.

Josh Peppers scored a game-high 24 points in the loss, but it was not enough as UCF committed 21 turnovers. The Golden Knights made just 6-of-21 (28.6 percent) attempts from three-point range. The squad had an opportunity to tie the game with 12 seconds remaining, but Mike O'Donnell's three-point attempt was long. Justin Rose added 13 points in the loss.

On the year, Peppers (12.5 points per game) and Rose (10.8) are both averaging double-digits in scoring. UCF is averaging 65 points per contest and is shooting 46 percent overall, but just 56.9 percent from the free-throw line. In its last two games, the team has averaged 20 turnovers.

ABOUT THE SPARTANS Norfolk State lost for the first time in three games on Monday, dropping a 92-59 contest at No. 25 Ohio State on Monday. The Buckeyes were 14-of-32 from behind-the-arc in the victory. The Spartans shot just 39 percent overall in the loss. Calvin Brown scored a season-high 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the losing effort. Tony Murphy chipped in with 12 points.

The Spartans are 1-5 away from home in 2005-06, but have faced two other difficult opponents in addition to Ohio State: George Washington and Wisconsin. Murphy is averaging a team-high 16.1 points per game. Brown is scoring 11.7 points a contest and leads the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with a 71.4 percent field-goal percentage. Karanadick Ogunride (5.6 rebounds per game) leads the squad on the glass.

SERIES HISTORY UCF and Norfolk State will be meeting for the first time on the hardwood. The Spartans will serve as UCF's second Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponent this year. The squad topped Bethune-Cookman (61-48) on Nov. 29. All-time, the Golden Knights are 21-18 versus the MEAC. Kirk Speraw is 5-5 versus MEAC squads. The Golden Knights will be facing an opponent from Virginia for the first time since Nov. 19, 2001 when they faced Hampton.

APPROACHING A MILESTONE Kirk Speraw has 199 victories and needs just one win to reach the 200-career victory mark. Speraw would join Eugene "Torchy" Clark as the only two coaches in UCF history to win at least 200 contests. Speraw has also been a head coach at Pensacola Junior College, where he won 82 games in three seasons.

FILLING THE BOX SCORE Josh Peppers filled up the box score against Florida Atlantic on Dec. 13. The junior forward scored a career-high 24 points versus the Owls. He scored 17 points in the second half. Peppers hit four three-pointers in 32 minutes on the floor. He matched a career-best with nine rebounds, including four on the offensive end, and added two assists, two blocks and a pair of steals.

NO MORE SUNSHINE Norfolk State will be UCF's first out-of-state opponent this season. UCF began the 2005-06 campaign with six-consecutive games versus in-state foes, posting a 4-2 mark. Since the start of the 2001-02 season, UCF is 25-11 against Sunshine State opponents.

WELL-ROUNDED ROSE Justin Rose is doing it all for the Golden Knights. In his second campaign at UCF, he is starting for the first time and is showing off all facets of his game. The shooting guard is first on the team in rebounding (5.2) and assists (3.8) per game. He is second with a 10.8 points per game average. Rose is shooting 57.2 percent overall and has made 6-of-14 of his attempts from three-point range. His 2.09 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks in the top five among all Conference USA players.

THE 100TH GAME When Troy Lindbeck takes the floor against Norfolk State, the contest will mark the 100th game of his collegiate career. The senior guard needs to appear in 10 more games to claim the 10th spot on UCF's career games register.

CINGULAR WIRELESS KNIGHTS ROUNDTABLE The "Cingular Wireless Knights Roundtable" radio show featuring Kirk Speraw will make its 2005-06 basketball season debut on Jan. 9. The program will air live from the Applebee's on University Boulevard near the UCF campus. Hosted by Marc Daniels, the show airs on 740 THE TEAM - AM (WQTM), the flagship station of the UCF ISP Sports Network. Fans can also listen via the Internet at www.UCFathletics.com. The program will run each Monday through March 13. Each hour-long show will begin at 6 p.m.

THIS DATE IN UCF HISTORY On Dec. 16, 1992, UCF defeated host Florida A&M, 68-66, to give first-year head coach Kirk Speraw his first victory on the road. UCF was paced by Darryl Davis, who totaled 16 points and eight rebounds versus the Rattlers.

UP NEXT The Golden Knights return to action on Dec. 19, facing Western Kentucky at the Fiesta Bowl Classic in Tucson, Ariz. at 6 p.m. Eastern... Sam Houston State and host Arizona are also participating in the tournament... Western Kentucky is 2-0 all-time versus the Golden Knights. The squads met twice during the 1991-92 season as members of the Sun Belt Conference... Western Kentucky is one of two teams from the Bluegrass State that UCF will face this year. The squad plays Kentucky on Jan. 3... The Golden Knights will be playing in Arizona for the first time in school history... UCF has never played Arizona or Sam Houston State.