UCF Defeats Rice 66-64 for First C-USA Tourney Victory


March 5, 2009

Final Stats

UCF-Rice Box Score

NEW ORLEANS, La. (UCFAthletics.com) - Sophomore Amber Kirkpatrick (Lawrenceville, Ga.) scored 13 points and drained a clutch three late as fifth-seeded UCF (14-16) snuck past 12th-seeded Rice (7-23) 66-64 Thursday afternoon in the first round of the Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship at Fogelman Arena. The victory marks the first for the program in the conference tournament since joining C-USA in 2005-06.

"We are excited to get a win in the Conference USA Tournament," said head coach Joi Williams. "We are a very young basketball team and I was proud of our team down the stretch. They played with a lot of poise. The game got close and sometimes young players have a tendency to tighten up, but we played with a lot of poise."

With a one-point lead and the basketball with 22 seconds, Kirkpatrick drained a three-pointer from the left wing to give her team a 64-60 lead. Rice's D'Frantz Smart was fouled and hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to two, but UCF sophomore Angelica Mealing (Decatur, Ga.) sank two from the line to push the lead to four again with 10 ticks remaining as the Knights held on.

Mealing was one of four UCF players in double figures, scoring 12 points, including 6-for-6 from the stripe. Freshman Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) tied Kirkpatrick for team-high honors with 13 points, and sophomore Marshay White (Rochester, N.Y.) scored 10 off the bench.

UCF led by as many as 14 points (48-34) with 12:56 remaining in the second half. The Owls would use a 13-3 run capped by a Maudess Fulton jumper to tie the game at 53 with 5:01 left in the game.

The lead would change hands five times the rest of the way, with White scoring six-straight points for UCF at one point to answer Rice's points, including a jumper at the 1:36 mark to give the team the lead for good.

UCF held a 48-32 edge on the glass which helped the squad to attempt 17 more shots than Rice. The Knights were 27-for-71 from the field while Rice hit 22-of-54 shots in the game. UCF committed a season-low nine turnovers in the contest.

Due to a constant double team, sophomore Emma Cannon (Rochester, N.Y.) was limited to just three points on 1-for-2 shooting, but had a game-high 11 rebounds to go with three blocks and two steals.

Early in the game, UCF used a 15-2 run to build a 23-9 lead on a Chelsie Wiley (Riviera Beach, Fla.) triple with 10:35 on the clock. However, Rice's Morgan Mayse scored six-straight points for the Owls as part of a 10-0 spurt that cut the lead to four at the 7:51 mark.

UCF cranked up the defense again and held Rice without a field goal for the final 6:03 and finished the period on a 7-2 run that gave the Knights a 34-24 lead at the break.

The Knights had a season-low three turnovers in the first half and hit 14-of-35 shots from the field for 40.0 percent. Seven UCF players scored in the period, with Wiley and freshman Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) scoring seven apiece.

With the victory, UCF advances to face fourth-seeded Houston in the quarterfinals on Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. The Knights and Cougars were among four teams that tied for second in the league standings, but Houston gained the fourth seed based on an 80-65 victory over visiting UCF on Jan. 25.

Fans can listen to a live audio internet broadcast of each game the Knights play in the tournament, with coverage of UCF's Friday's game set to begin at approximately 3:10 p.m. The voice of the team, Scott Adams, will be on the call, and the broadcast can be accessed free of charge through Stretch Audio Internet at http://ucfathletics.cstv.com/multimedia/ucf-wbb-stretch-sched.html.

Conference USA will also offer live online streaming video of the quarterfinals in the C-USA Women's Basketball Championship. The game will be available on a pay-per-view basis for a one-time payment of $7.95.

Current Annual subscribers to Knights All-Access will receive all of UCF's C-USA tournament pay-per-views for FREE as part of their Annual package. Those subscribers can just log in with their normal account and begin watching the games. Please note that monthly subscribers will have to purchase the pay-per-views.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Newspaper Box Score
(12) Rice vs (5) UCF
3/5/09 2:30 p.m. at New Orleans (Fogelman Arena)
At New Orleans (Fogelman Arena)

(5) UCF 66, (12) RICE 64

(12) RICE (7-23)
FULTON, Maudess 8-15 6-7 22; SMART, D'Frantz 3-7 8-8 15; ELLIOTT, Megan 4-8 4-6 12; MAYSE, Morgan 4-10 0-1 8; WATTS, Tara 2-8 0-0 5; CARTER, Emery 1-6 0-0 2; HYPOLITE, Brianna 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-54 18-22 64.

(5) UCF (14-16)
Patrick, Aisha 6-12 1-2 13; Kirkpatrick, Amber 6-13 0-1 13; Mealing, Angelica 3-11 6-6 12; White, Marshay 5-12 0-0 10; Wiley, Chelsie 3-12 2-2 9; Daniels, D'Nay 2-3 0-0 4; Cannon, Emma 1-2 1-1 3; Caldwell, Jelisa 1-5 0-0 2; Kelly, Ashia 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-71 10-12 66.

(12) Rice..................... 24 40 - 64
(5) UCF....................... 34 32 - 66

3-point goals--(12) Rice 2-10 (SMART, D'Frantz 1-2; WATTS, Tara 1-6; MAYSE, Morgan 0-1; FULTON, Maudess 0-1), (5) UCF 2-10 (Kirkpatrick, Amber 1-1; Wiley, Chelsie 1-6; White, Marshay 0-1; Mealing, Angelica 0-2). Fouled out--(12) Rice-None, (5) UCF-WHITE, Marshay. Rebounds--(12) Rice 32 (CARTER, Emery 10), (5) UCF 48 (Cannon, Emma 11). Assists--(12) Rice 12 (SMART, D'Frantz 6), (5) UCF 15 (Mealing, Angelica 5). Total fouls--(12) Rice 13, (5) UCF 20. Technical fouls--(12) Rice-None, (5) UCF-None.

2009 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship