UCF Falls to #24 MTSU in Season Opener


Nov. 15, 2009

Final Stats

By Andrew Gavin

UCF at Middle Tennessee
Nov. 1, 2009
Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Murphy Athletic Center)
Team 1st 2nd Final
UCF 23 30 53
#24 MTSU 30 48 78

UCF (0-1) Cannon, Emma 4-17 10-11 19; Patrick, Aisha 4-9 2-3 10; Daniels, D'Nay 3-6 3-5 9; Wiley, Chelsie 2-7 0-2 5; White, Marshay 1-5 2-2 4; Kelly, Ashia 1-2 0-0 2; Mealing, Angelica 1-5 0-1 2; Hall, Jessica 0-0 2-2 2; Paige, Leah 0-1 0-0 0; Caldwell, Jelisa 0-0 0-0 0; Davis, Racine 0-0 0-0 0; Carter, Gevenia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-52 19-26 53.

Middle Tennessee (1-0) Clark, Alysha 10-15 12-14 32; Lymon, Chelsia 5-10 5-7 17; Pickel, Jackie 5-15 0-0 12; Brown, Brandi 4-14 0-0 8; Garrett, Dana 3-6 0-0 6; Lanning, Anne Marie 1-3 0-0 3; Jones, Kortni 0-1 0-0 0; Stewart, Tina 0-0 0-0 0; Raynor, Dymon 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-65 17-21 78.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (UCFAthletics.com) - Junior Emma Cannon (Rochester, N.Y.) scored 19 points and had 18 rebounds Sunday afternoon, but Preseason All-American Alysha Clark scored 32 points for #24 Middle Tennessee State (1-0) as UCF (0-1) fell 78-53 in its women's basketball season opener at the Murphy Center.

Cannon had her 34th career double-double by halftime with 10 points and 11 rebounds, but the junior struggled from the field hitting only 4-of-17 shots for the game. Cannon converted 10-of-11 free throws and had 12 of her 18 rebounds on the offensive glass.

For the Blue Raiders, Clark hit 10-of-15 shots from the field and went 12-for-14 from the charity stripe. Now a senior, Clark led the nation in scoring a season ago at 27.5 points per game.

Despite having 17 turnovers in the opening half, UCF got a bucket from sophomore Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) and two free throws by Cannon in the final minutes to trail just 30-23 at the break. After trailing 13-8 early, the Blue Raiders had a 13-0 run midway through the half and led by as many as 11.

"We had 17 first-half turnovers and were not doing what we were supposed to do offensively," said head coach Joi Williams. "But we were still in the ball game. We knew that we had to come out and execute in the second half, and I was disappointed with that offensive execution. I thought we rushed a lot of shots, and we did not do a great job of finishing inside. That was the difference."

UCF struck first in the second half with a Patrick jumper at the 17:25 mark, but the Knights' offense went dormant from there. Plagued by missed shots in the lane, UCF would not score again for over six minutes of action. The Blue raiders, meanwhile, had another 13-0 run to turn a close game into a 43-25 lead. MTSU led by as many as 29 and never looked back.

"Obviously, I am disappointed with our second half effort, but they are a very good basketball team and our team can learn a lot from this," said Williams. "We played a tough schedule last year and we are doing the same thing this year. We want to play the best opponents so we can get ready to be successful in the Conference USA season."

Patrick was the only other Knight to reach double figures, finishing with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals. Junior Angelica Mealing (Decatur, Ga.) was limited to just 20 minutes due to foul trouble but finished with nine rebounds.

The Knights return to the UCF Arena for the home opener against Bethune-Cookman on Friday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

Season and single-game tickets are currently available with the UCF Ticket Office. Knight fans can purchase season tickets for each of the team's 14 home games for just $39. For more information on purchasing tickets, contact the UCF ticket office at (407) 823-1000.

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.