UCF Visits Southern Miss on Wednesday

Feb. 7, 2006

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The UCF men's basketball team will be looking to return to its winning ways when it faces host Southern Miss on Wednesday. Tip-off for the Conference USA contest at Reed Green Coliseum is slated for 8 p.m. Eastern.

The Golden Knights (9-10, 3-3 C-USA) are currently fifth in the C-USA standings. Southern Miss enters the game with a 7-15 overall mark and a 1-6 showing in league play.

UCF is limiting its opponents to only 63.7 points per game, but after holding four-consecutive foes to below 70 points, has allowed an average of 84.5 points in its last two contests. UCF has been successful from three-point range as of late, hitting 24 triples in its last three games.

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 UCF hit 13 three-pointers, but it was not enough as visiting UAB held on for a 75-68 victory on Saturday. Josh Peppers recorded a game-high 19 points for the Golden Knights. UCF connected on eight treys and shot 50 percent overall in the first half and trailed by one point at the break. The squad struggled from the field in the second half. The hosts made just 32.3 percent of their fields goals during the period.

UAB pulled away midway through the second half, using a 13-4 run. Mike O'Donnell hit five triples for UCF and finished with a career-best 17 points. He added eight assists. In 22 minutes off of the bench, Marcus Johnson matched a career-high with 11 rebounds.

ABOUT SOUTHERN MISS The Golden Eagles have lost seven contests in a row, all in league play. Southern Miss has not won since Jan. 11, when it topped visiting Tulane (67-55). On Saturday, the squad dropped a 58-53 contest at SMU. Milden Ambres paced Southern Miss with 19 points. The Golden Eagles, who are last in Conference USA with 3.59 made three-pointers a game, were 0-for-5 from deep.

Southern Miss is 6-6 this year at home. Courtney Beasley is averaging a team-high 14.9 points per contest in league play. Jarekus Singleton is averaging 9.3 points and has 46 assists on the season. The team is averaging 62.1 points per game and ranks last in C-USA in field-goal percentage defense. Opponents are shooting at a 45.7 percent clip from the field against the Golden Eagles.

SERIES HISTORY UCF and Southern Miss will be meeting for the first time on the hardwood.

RETURN TO THE MAGNOLIA STATE The Golden Knights will be competing in Mississippi for the first time since March 5, 1992 when they played New Orleans at the Sun Belt Tournament in Biloxi.

GOING THE DISTANCE Mike O'Donnell registered 39 minutes against UAB on Feb. 4. In Conference USA play, he is averaging 36.5 minutes. O'Donnell has logged at least 35 minutes in nine contests this season. At Houston on Jan. 14, he played all 40 minutes.

THREE-POINT STANCE UCF's 13 made three-pointers against UAB on Feb. 4 were the most for the Golden Knights since the team canned 13 versus Troy on Jan. 16, 2005. Since the 2002-03 campaign, the Golden Knights have hit at least 13 treys in a game on five occasions.

GOING DEEP UCF is shooting 35.2 percent from three-point range, ranking second 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. Troy Lindbeck (41.2 percent) is fourth, followed by Justin Rose whose 41.1 percentage from behind-the-arc ranks fifth.

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 112 games in a UCF uniform, which ranks seventh in school history. Jason Thornton (1998-02) appeared in 121 contests during his career and is UCF's all-time leader in the category.

FOR STARTERS Josh Peppers has started 40-consecutive games for UCF. He is the first Golden Knight to make at least 40 starts in a row since Roberto Morentin started 51-straight contests (Nov. 22, 2002-Jan. 31, 2004).

THIS DATE IN UCF HISTORY Ray Abellard canned five three-pointers on his way to 17 points as host UCF posted an 82-59 victory over Gardner-Webb on Feb. 8, 2003. UCF limited the visitors to just 33.3 percent overall shooting for the game. In the Atlantic Sun Conference victory, Roberto Morentin and Dexter Lyons added 14 and 13 points, respectively.

UP NEXT UCF returns home to host Tulane on Saturday at 7:30 p.m... The all-time series with the Green Wave is tied, 1-1. The squads will be meeting in Orlando for the first time... On Nov. 29, 2002, UCF recorded a 66-61 victory over the Green Wave in first round action at the University Hoops Classic in New Orleans. The Golden Knights would go on to claim the tournament. Against the Green Wave, Troy Lindbeck, then a freshman, played 24 minutes and scored 13 points. He connected on three shots from deep... In the other series meeting, Tulane recorded an 82-54 home win on Dec. 8, 1983.