UCF Hosts Houston on Wednesday

Feb. 14, 2006

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ORLANDO - The UCF men's basketball team will welcome one of the premier teams in Conference USA to Orlando when it hosts Houston on Wednesday. Tip-off at Torchy Clark Court is set for 7:30 p.m.

The Cougars (16-6, 6-3 C-USA) sit in fourth in the league standings, followed by UCF. The Golden Knights are 10-11 overall this year and 4-4 in C-USA play.

Offensively, UCF has hit 28 three-pointers in its last three games. Mike O'Donnell has canned 10 treys and Josh Peppers has recorded seven triples during that span. UCF is limiting foes to 62.9 points a game and has held its last two opponents to below 60 points.

Tickets for the game are still available. Call (407) UCF-1000 for more information or to purchase tickets.

Houston-UCF 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 scored 11 points and Anthony Williams totaled 10 points as the Golden Knights earned a 72-51 win at home over Tulane on Saturday. UCF had a balanced offensive effort as 10 Golden Knights scored against the Green Wave. UCF forced 22 Tulane turnovers and held a 39-27 edge on the boards.

ABOUT HOUSTON The Cougars have won six-consecutive games, including a 69-57 win over visiting SMU on Saturday. Since falling to the Golden Knights on Jan. 14, Houston has won seven of eight games. Against the Mustangs, Ramon Dyer scored a career-high 25 points. Houston was 5-of-24 from three-point range in the win.

The squad is averaging 74.3 points a game and is led by Oliver Lafayette, who is third in Conference USA in scoring at 16.3 points per game. He paces the league in steals (3.2). Dyer is the team's top rebounder at six per game and Lanny Smith is averaging 5.6 assists per game. Houston has hit 202 treys this year and is averaging nine triples per game.

SERIES HISTORY The squads met for the first time on Jan. 14 in Houston and UCF earned its first Conference USA victory with a 66-56 win. Anthony Williams scored 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the floor and also posted nine rebounds and five blocks for UCF. The Golden Knights limited the Cougars to just 31 percent shooting overall. Houston entered the game averaging 77.5 points per contest. Justin Rose grabbed 14 rebounds and totaled 11 points in the winning effort. Mike O'Donnell played all 40 minutes and recorded seven points, seven assists and only two turnovers. UCF shot 50 percent overall and 47.4 percent form three-point range as it never trailed during the contest. Ramon Dyer led Houston with 18 points.

UCF-HOUSTON CONNECTIONS Houston guard Brian Latham hails from Memphis, Tenn. His East High School squad faced Josh Peppers and Whitehaven High School on numerous occasions.

IN RESERVE In Saturday's 72-51 victory over Tulane, UCF's bench accounted for a season-high 39 points. Josh Peppers, who was coming off of the bench for the first time in 42 games, scored a team-high 11 points. Lavell Payne totaled nine points and Jermaine Taylor chipped in with eight points.

FREE FALLING The Golden Knights made their first 18 free throws against Tulane on Saturday - the second-longest single-game streak in school history. UCF finished the game 19-of-22 at the line for a season-high 86.4 percent. The squad entered the contest shooting only 62.4 percent at the charity stripe.

3-D Opponents are shooting just 31.4 percent from three-point range against the Golden Knights - tied for the lowest mark in Conference USA. Foes have connected on a league-low 111 triples versus UCF.

MAJOR MINUTES This season, 10 UCF players are averaging at least 10 minutes per game. Only two Golden Knights - Mike O'Donnell (31.6) and Justin Rose (30.8) - are logging over 30 minutes per contest.

A HISTORY LESSON UCF's four 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. Tulane has appeared in three NCAA Tournaments and East Carolina has participated in a pair of NCAA Tournaments.

MOVING UP THE CHARTS Troy Lindbeck has played in 114 games as a Golden Knight, a mark that ranks fourth in school history. Jason Thornton (1998-02) appeared in 121 contests during his career and is UCF's all-time leader in the category.

THE STARTING LINEUP UCF has used six different starting lineups this season. Seven Golden Knights have recorded starts in 2005-06, but only one player, Mike O'Donnell, has started every game. Prior to coming off of the bench against Tulane on Feb. 11, Josh Peppers had started 41-consecutive contests.

THIS DATE IN UCF HISTORY On Feb. 15, 1990, Bob Blackwood recorded a game-high 18 points to help the Golden Knights to a 55-49 victory over visiting Florida A&M. Ken Leeks totaled 13 rebounds in the win.

UP NEXT UCF heads to Texas to face SMU in Dallas on Saturday. The schools will be meeting for the first time on the hardwood... The Golden Knights will be playing in Texas for the second time this year. The squad faced host Houston on Jan. 14. Prior to the contest at Houston, UCF had not played in the Lone Star State since 1992.