UCF Looks for Third-Consecutive Win

Feb. 27, 2006

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ORLANDO - The UCF men's basketball team will make its final road trip of the 2005-06 regular season on Wednesday, facing Marshall in Huntington, W.Va. Tip-off for the Conference USA contest at the Cam Henderson Center is slated for 7 p.m.

The Golden Knights are 12-13 overall and 6-6 in C-USA. The squad has won two-consecutive games and sits in fifth in the league standings. UCF is averaging 73 points in its last two outings is shooting 52.8 percent from the floor during that span.

Marshall (11-14, 4-8) is ninth in the C-USA standings.

UCF-Marshall 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.

UCF LAST TIME OUT Justin Rose made 9-of-11 field goals and 4-of-5 three-point attempts to finish with 22 points as UCF defeated host Rice, 77-64, on Saturday in Houston. Rose added nine boards and six assists in the win. The Golden Knights shot a season-high 56.9 percent from the floor and drained 12 treys. Josh Peppers added 21 points for the Golden Knights. On the defensive end, Rose limited Morris Almond, who entered the game averaging a league-high 25.7 points in conference play, to just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

ABOUT MARSHALL Marshall is coming off of a 62-57 victory over visiting Southern Miss on Saturday. Mark Patton scored 14 points and Mark Dorris hit four three-pointers on his way to 14 points for the Thundering Herd. The hosts owned a 29-19 edge on the glass.

The Thundering Herd are 6-6 at home in 2005-06. Patton is fifth in Conference USA in scoring (14.9) and ranks sixth with 6.9 rebounds per game. Chris Ross is averaging 4.7 assists a contest. Marshall is averaging 66.1 points an outing, but allowing 69.2. The team is shooting 41 percent from the floor and 30.7 from three-point range.

SERIES HISTORY The schools met for the first time on Jan. 11 and the visiting Thundering Herd recorded a 73-69 victory. The contest marked the first Conference USA game for both schools. Justin Rose paced the Golden Knights with 21 points. Marshall shot 50 percent from the field in the second half, compared to 38.2 percent for the hosts. Travis Aikens led Marshall with 17 points and nine rebounds. UCF was 6-of-12 at the free-throw line, compared to Marshall, who made 29 trips to the charity stripe, making 19.

UCF-MARSHALL CONNECTIONS Marshall junior forward Travis Aikens is from Orlando and attended Daytona Beach Community College. Former UCF star Dexter Lyons played at DBCC from 2000-02.

A NEW LOCALE UCF will be making the first appearance in school history in West Virginia. The Golden Knights have never played a game in the Mountaineer State. This season, UCF has played in one other state (Arizona) for the first time. From Dec. 19-21, the squad participated in the Fiesta Bowl Classic in Tucson, playing Western Kentucky and Sam Houston State.

A GREAT WEEK Both Josh Peppers and Justin Rose excelled as UCF won a pair of league games last week. Peppers averaged 19 points in just 26.5 minutes per game. He shot 66.7 percent overall and grabbed 5.5 boards a contest. Rose averaged 17 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, three steals and 1.5 blocks on the week. The senior guard was 14-of-19 (73.7 percent) from the floor and made 6-of-9 (66.7 percent) three-point field goal attempts.

20/20 When Justin Rose scored 22 points and Josh Peppers totaled 21 at Rice on Saturday, it marked the first time in over three years that a pair of UCF players both recorded at least 20 points in the same game. Ray Abellard (25) and Ed Dotson (22) were the last Golden Knight duo to each score 20 points. The pair achieved the feat at Stetson on Feb. 15, 2003.

MARCH WITHOUT THE MADNESS The month of March usually lacks the expected "madness" for the Golden Knights. Under Kirk Speraw, UCF is 19-9 (.679) during the month. In the last three seasons, the Golden Knights are 8-3 in March.

GILL FILLS IN With Anthony Williams struggling on the offensive end against Rice on Saturday, Adam Gill picked up the slack down low for the Golden Knights. The sophomore center scored eight points and matched a career-best with six boards. He also had two assists in a career-high 25 minutes.

SHARING THE ROCK Against Rice on Saturday, UCF recorded a season-high 22 assists on 29 made field goals. Seven Golden Knights recorded assists, led by Justin Rose (6) and Mike O'Donnell (5).

GOING DEEP UCF is shooting 36.3 percent from three-point range, the top mark in Conference USA. The squad is connecting on seven treys a contest. A pair of Golden Knights are in the top-five in the league in three-point field goal percentage. Justin Rose ranks third at 43.5 percent and Troy Lindbeck is fourth (40.7).

WINNING WITH THREES Nine of UCF's 12 victories in 2005-06 have come when the Golden Knights connect on seven or more three-pointers. The team is averaging just over seven treys a game this year.

THE DISH In his first season at UCF, Mike O'Donnell leads the squad with 105 assists. His 4.2 assists per game average is the seventh-best mark in Conference USA. O'Donnell's 2.50 assist/turnover ratio ranks second in the league.

CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP For the second-straight year, Memphis will host the Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship at FedEx Forum from March 8-11. Twelve teams will compete for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The squads with the four best conference records earn first-round byes. First round games are slated for March 8. The championship contest is scheduled for March 11 at 11:45 a.m. Eastern on CBS.

UP NEXT The Golden Knights conclude the 2005-06 regular season on Saturday, hosting UTEP on Saturday evening... The Miners lead the all-time series, 1-0. The teams last met on Dec. 15, 1978 when UTEP claimed a 92-64 victory at home. The Golden Knights were competing in Division II at the time... This season, UCF is 2-3 against squads from the state of Texas... Prior to the game, the UCF program will honor its four seniors - Marcus Johnson, Troy Lindbeck, Justin Rose and Anthony Williams - who will be playing in their final home contest.