UCF Looking for C-USA Success on the Road

Jan. 24, 2006

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - The UCF men's basketball team will be looking for Conference USA success on the road on Wednesday when it faces host East Carolina. Tip-off at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum is set for 7 p.m.

The contest is the first of a two-game league road swing for the Golden Knights (8-8, 2-1 C-USA). East Carolina enters the game with a 6-11 overall mark and a 0-4 showing in conference play.

UCF's defense has been a factor its three league games. The Golden Knights pace the conference in field-goal percentage defense as league opponents are shooting just 38.5 percent against UCF. This season, UCF has held eight of its foes to below 60 points.

The 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 LAST TIME OUT Josh Peppers blocked a layup attempt by Tulsa's Anthony Price with three seconds to play as UCF held on for a 45-44 victory over the visiting Golden Hurricane on Saturday. Anthony Williams scored a game-high 15 points in the win. Both teams struggled offensively as UCF shot just 33.3 percent overall for the game and made just 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) from three-point range. The Golden Hurricane shot at a 38.3 percent clip from the field.

ABOUT EAST CAROLINA The Pirates have lost four-consecutive games, including a 60-52 contest at Tulane on Saturday. East Carolina shot just 29.4 percent overall, compared to 51.1 percent for the Green Wave. Courtney Captain (12 points) was the only Pirate to finish with double-digits in scoring.

This season, the squad is 5-5 at home. Corey Rouse leads the team, averaging 13.9 points and a league-high 10.6 rebounds per game. Japhet McNeil ranks third in Conference USA in assists per game (6.5). East Carolina is last in the conference, shooting 41.2 percent from the field.

SERIES HISTORY UCF leads the all-time series, 2-0. Most recently, UCF claimed an 82-72 contest in Greenville, N.C. on Nov. 24, 2001. From the floor, the Golden Knights shot 61 percent for the game and limited the Pirates to just four field goals in the first half. Kirk Speraw is 2-0 versus East Carolina as UCF also topped the visiting Pirates, 88-81, on Dec. 30, 2000.

UCF-EAST CAROLINA CONNECTIONS East Carolina junior guard Courtney Captain attended San Jacinto College in Texas before transferring to ECU. San Jacinto is the same junior college that roduced former Golden Knight standout Roberto Morentin. Morentin played at UCF from 2002-04.

WELCOME TO CONFERENCE USA Anthony Williams is enjoying the Golden Knights' first season in Conference USA. In three league games, the senior forward is averaging 18.3 points and 7.3 rebounds. Williams is shooting 57 percent overall and is averaging 2.7 blocks a contest. In UCF's first C-USA road game at Houston on Jan. 14, he recorded a season-high 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting and also totaled nine rebounds and five blocks.

A HISTORY LESSON UCF's two Conference USA victories this season have come against teams with impressive legacies. Houston has participated in 18 NCAA Tournaments and has made four trips to the Final Four. Tulsa boasts 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, three trips to the Sweet 16 and a pair of NIT titles.

TOUGH "D" UCF has held its last 25 opponents to 80 points or below. The last team to score more than 80 points versus the Golden Knights was Jacksonville on Feb. 12, 2005. The Dolphins claimed an 83-82 victory in overtime at home. Only two of UCF's last 11 opponents (Western Kentucky, Marshall) have scored more than 70 points.

THIEF'S THEME Mike O'Donnell is averaging 1.8 steals per contest. The mark ranks seventh in Conference USA. Against Tulsa on Jan. 21, he recorded a game-high three steals.

MOVING UP THE CHARTS When Troy Lindbeck entered the game against Norfolk State on Dec. 16, the contest marked the 100th game of his collegiate career. The senior guard has played in 109 games in a UCF uniform, which ranks 10th in school history. Jason Thornton (1998-02) appeared in 121 conests during his career and is UCF's all-time leader in the category.

THIS DATE IN UCF HISTORY On Jan. 25, 2003, the Golden Knights recorded an 81-74 win in two overtimes at Georgia State. Ray Abellard (24 points) and Ed Dotson (22 points) combined for 46 points against the Panthers. Abellard scored a combined seven points in the overtime sessions.

UP NEXT UCF travels to Memphis to face the third-ranked Tigers on Saturday. Tip-off at FedEx Forum is set for 1 p.m. Eastern. The contest will be aired nationally on CSTV. Memphis leads the all-time series, 3-0, but the squads have not met since 1976... The game will serve as a homecoming for UCF's Josh Peppers who attended Whitehaven High School in Memphis... UCF associate head coach Tom Schuberth served as an assistant coach at Memphis from 1992-97.