UCF Women's Basketball Opens Season, UCF Arena Friday Night

Nov. 8, 2007

Game Notes in PDF Format

Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - After weeks of anticipation and hard work, the UCF women's basketball team will open the new UCF Arena Friday evening when they host Texas Tech in their 2007-08 season-opener. Tipoff for the inaugural game is slated for 7:30 p.m., and is part of the UCF Knights Classic. The tournament is scheduled to run Friday Nov. 9 and Sunday Nov. 11. Besides UCF and Texas Tech, Coppin State and Northeastern are participating in the tournament.

"We are very excited about the season-opener against Texas Tech and respectful of our opponents coming in this weekend for the UCF Knights Classic," head coach Joi Williams said. "The Red Raiders come from a tradition-rich conference and have had great success in the NCAA Tournament. We feel good about the fact that we get to open up the new UCF Arena and play Texas Tech in front of our fans."

Williams is in her first season at the helm of the UCF women's basketball program after serving as the head coach at Murray State for four years. One of the top recruiters in the nation, Williams led Murray State to a 21-10 mark in 2006-07 and a trip to the Women's National Invitation Tournament. The 20-victory season was the first for the program in 18 years. The WNIT berth marked only the second postseason appearance in Murray State history.

The Knights return two players from last year's squad and welcome 11 newcomers, which includes nine freshmen. Senior Amber Long (Irmo, S.C.) played in 26 games in the 2006-07 season, averaging 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Junior Jackie Akers (Naples, Fla.) played in 29 games last season, recording 23 blocked shots and 16 steals. She averaged 4.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

The Red Raiders are coming off a 15-16 record in 2006-07, where they tied for seventh place in the Big 12 standings with a 6-10 mark. Texas Tech lost four starters from last year's squad, including Alesha Robertson, who averaged 13.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. The Red Raiders return seven letterwinners and two starters, including sophomore Jordan Murphree who recorded 9.1 points and three assists per game and Erin Myrick had an 8.5 point and 7 rebound average last season. The Knights and the Red Raiders will face-off for only the second time in history, with Texas Tech holding a 1-0 advantage over UCF, posting a 77-43 win against the Black and Gold on Dec. 19, 1999 in Orlando.

The last time the Knights opened an arena on campus, they claimed an 82-43 victory over Coastal Carolina in 1991 in the old UCF Arena.

Live stats and audio will be available at www.UCFAthletics.com.

The Knights continue play in the UCF Knights Classic Sunday Nov. 11, when they face Coppin State at 4:30 p.m. at the new UCF Arena. The contest marks the first meeting between the Knights and the Eagles.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pics. -UCF-