March 7, 2009

Final Stats


UCF-SMU Box Score

CBS College Sports Highlights

NEW ORLEANS, La. (UCFAthletics.com) - Getting 18 points and 19 rebounds from sophomore Emma Cannon (Rochester, N.Y.), UCF (16-16) used a 9-0 run late to take the lead and dispatch top-seeded SMU (20-12) 62-51 Saturday afternoon in the Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship.

We're excited to be in this position," said head coach Joi Williams. "This is the first time for our program and we're just so proud of these players. We've asked a lot of them and have demanded a lot and they've really responded. One thing we were concerned about was SMU on the boards. After their game yesterday when they had about 26 offensive rebounds, we had to block out and couldn't give them any second chance opportunities. Rebounding is what wins championships, and Emma [Cannon] was relentless on the glass."

With their fifth-straight victory overall, the Knights advance to Sunday's championship game at 3:30 p.m. Eastern against the winner of Saturday's second semifinal between Southern Miss and Marshall. The contest will be nationally televised on ESPN2 with Allan Hopkins and Leslie Hill on the call.

Cannon was impressive from the start in posting her 19th double-double of the season and 31st of her career, grabbing nine first-half rebounds and 10 more in the second. The sophomore now has 364 rebounds on the season, breaking the previous school record. Already owning the single-season C-USA record for offensive rebounds in a season with 159, Cannon is now tied for fifth on the league's single-season rebounding chart.

UCF held a slight lead throughout the first half, but SMU scored the first six points of the second and took a 26-24 lead at the 17:19 mark of the second on a Haley Day triple. The Mustangs led over the next 10-plus minutes, but never led by a margin of more than four points.

The last lead, 46-45, for SMU came on a Jillian Samuels three with 5:38 remaining. UCF sophomore Marshay White (Rochester, N.Y.) started the Knights' 9-0 run with a jumper with 4:13 on the clock, and UCF never trailed again. The final seven points of the run came at the free throw line, as the Knights hit 7-for-8 during the spurt to have a 54-46 lead with 1:23 remaining.

The Mustangs used a triple by LaShandra Hill with one minute left to close to five points, but sophomore Angelica Mealing (Decatur, Ga.) and White each sank a pair of free throws in the next 12 seconds, and SMU would fail to score the rest of the way.

White started as UCF changed its starting lineup for the first time in 22 games, and the southpaw scored 13 points. Mealing was replaced in the lineup, but was the third UCF player to notch double figures with 10 points. She hit 10-of-14 shots from the free throw line.

The game was a defensive battle from the onset, with the score just 8-8 at the second media timeout with 11:55 remaining in the first half. UCF used a quick 7-2 run capped by a White three to lead 15-10, and did not relinquish the lead the rest of the way.

Sophomore Chelsie Wiley (Riviera Beach, Fla.) banked in a three from the left wing with three seconds left in the opening 20 minutes to give her team a 24-20 lead at the break. Wiley struggled from the field, hitting just 3-of-18 from the field, but contributed nine points and seven rebounds.

UCF hit just 7-of-30 shots in the first half for 23.3 percent, but SMU was not much better, hitting just nine of its 30 shots. The Mustangs finished the game 19-of-62 for 30.6 percent, and UCF won despite shooting 29.3 percent (17-58). The Knights held a distinct edge from the line, hitting 26-for-35 compared to 9-for-13 for SMU.

Behind Cannon's dominant performance on the glass, UCF outrebounded SMU 51-39. Her 19 rebounds overall and 13 defensive rebounds both tie for the third most in a C-USA tournament game. With 43 rebounds in the tourney, Cannon needs just five to break the league record of 47 in an individual tournament.

UCF now stands at .500 this season for the first time since Nov. 21 when the Knights were 1-1. The team had not won a tournament game in three tries since joining C-USA, but UCF is now 3-3 after wins over Rice, Houston and SMU.

The Knights will be vying for the program's first trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999. UCF has made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament, also going in 1996.

Fans can also listen to a live audio internet broadcast of the championship Sunday, with coverage set to begin at approximately 3 p.m. Eastern. 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.

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
(5) UCF vs (1) SMU
3/7/09 2:00 p.m. at New Orleans (Fogelman Arena)
At New Orleans (Fogelman Arena)

(5) UCF 62, (1) SMU 51

(5) UCF (16-16)
Cannon, Emma 5-10 8-12 18; White, Marshay 4-15 4-5 13; Mealing, Angelica 0-3 10-14 10; Wiley, Chelsie 3-18 2-2 9; Patrick, Aisha 3-5 2-2 8; Daniels, D'Nay 1-2 0-0 2; Kirkpatrick, Amber 1-4 0-0 2; Caldwell, Jelisa 0-1 0-0 0; Kelly, Ashia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-58 26-35 62.

(1) SMU (20-11)
GILLIAM, Brittany 5-12 1-2 11; DAY, Haley 3-13 4-4 11; SAMUELS, Jillian 4-14 0-0 10; SEVERIN, Alice 3-5 0-0 6; HILL, LaShandra 1-8 2-2 5; ELLIOTT, Christine 2-6 0-0 4; BRANDENBURG, Heidi 0-1 2-2 2; MAHNESMITH, Samantha 1-2 0-1 2; SHELL, Morgan 0-0 0-0 0; WILLS, Delisha 0-1 0-2 0; MITCHAM, Alicia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-62 9-13 51.

(5) UCF....................... 24 38 - 62
(1) SMU....................... 20 31 - 51

3-point goals--(5) UCF 2-12 (Wiley, Chelsie 1-7; White, Marshay 1-3; Kirkpatrick, Amber 0-1; Caldwell, Jelisa 0-1), (1) SMU 4-23 (SAMUELS, Jillian 2-11; HILL, LaShandra 1-4; DAY, Haley 1-5; GILLIAM, Brittany 0-3). Fouled out--(5) UCF-None, (1) SMU-GILLIAM, Brittany. Rebounds--(5) UCF 51 (Cannon, Emma 19), (1) SMU 39 (DAY, Haley 9). Assists--(5) UCF 9 (Mealing, Angelica 3), (1) SMU 12 (SAMUELS, Jillian 4). Total fouls--(5) UCF 15, (1) SMU 23. Technical fouls--(5) UCF-None, (1) SMU-None.

2009 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship