Knights Host Southern Miss in Title Game Rematch

Jan. 20, 2010

By Andrew Gavin

Live Audio

Complete Release in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - A rematch of the 2009 C-USA championship game, Thursday night will bring back memories when UCF hosts Southern Miss at 7 p.m. at the UCF Arena. In last season's title game, UCF defeated Southern Miss 65-54 in overtime to earn the league's NCAA Tournament bid.

Thursday night's game will be televised live regionally in Central Florida on Bright House Sports Network. Bernie Guenther will handle the play-by-play duties while Mike O'Donnell will serve as the color analyst for the contest, the second of three on Bright House Sports Network this season. BHSN is channel 47 on Bright House cable in the central Florida region.

The two teams met three times a season ago, with UCF winning twice. The first of the meetings was a 64-59 UCF victory in the C-USA opener on Jan. 3. It was also the program's first win in 13 all-time meetings with Southern Miss. Junior Emma Cannon (Rochester, N.Y.) averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds against the Golden Eagles last season.

As the rivalry is renewed at the UCF Arena Thursday, UCF head coach Joi Williams is looking for her team to begin playing the way it did during that championship run with the goal of ending a five-game slide. UCF showed signs of that energy and execution late in Sunday's game against UAB, but it was too little too late as the Knights fell 69-61.

Meanwhile, Southern Miss enters having lost nine games in a row, including a 60-57 home loss to Memphis Sunday. The Golden Eagles have not won since defeating Alcorn State on Dec. 4.

The Golden Eagles played both of its last two games without the services of Pauline Love, a first-team all-conference performer. Love, who is averaging 16 points and 12.5 rebounds, missed the games with an injury.

The game can once again be heard live on WHOO 1080 AM ESPN Radio. With Scott Adams and Andrew Gavin on the call, coverage can be heard beginning at 6:45 p.m. Those fans not in the Central Florida area or without radio access can listen live via the internet by clicking here or on UCFAthletics.com.

? LAST TIME OUT: Cannon posted her 39th career double-double, totaling 16 points and 13 rebounds, but UCF fell behind by 23 points and could not recover in a 69-61 loss to visiting UAB.

? THE SERIES: Southern Miss has won 13 of the 15 meetings against UCF, but the Knights posted victories in two of the three games against the Golden Eagles a season ago. UCF's 65-59 victory in Orlando on Jan. 3 was the program's first all-time against Southern Miss.

? CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH: Thursday's contest will be a rematch of the 2009 C-USA championship game on March 9, 2009, which UCF won 65-54 in overtime. The Knights held Southern Miss without a field goal and outscored the Golden Eagles 13-2 in the overtime session. Junior Chelsie Wiley (Riviera Beach, Fla.) scored 18 points while Cannon, the MVP of the C-USA Championship, added 16 points and 15 rebounds.

? INSIDE THE SERIES: In last season's three games against Southern Miss, UCF's defense was a primary reason for the Knights success. The Eagles were held to just 60.7 points per game and hit just 5-of-24 three-pointers.

? IN THE TOP 10 AND ON THE MOVE: The most recent and 12th member of UCF's 1,000-point club, Cannon joined the club against Notre Dame on Dec. 29. Now with 1,044 points, she recently passed both Marcie Swiley, Ali Roberts and Celeste Hudson to move into ninth place all-time. She is also just five points from passing Takira Allen (1,048). With 21 points Thursday, Cannon could also pass Francine Houston (1,064) into seventh place. She is on pace to end the season in fifth place all-time. The top four players on the scoring list are: Tamika Coley (2,006), Susan Patz (1,587), Chariya Davis (1,517) and Yolanda Rhodes (1,322).

? FASTER THAN THE REST: Cannon became the fifth active player in Conference USA to reach the 1,000-point plateau, joining UTEP's Jareica Hughes (1,411), Pauline Love of Southern Miss (1,303), Tulsa's Larissa Williams (1,274) and SMU's Britney Gilliam (1,222). More recently, SMU's Jillian Samuels (1,005) joined the list. However, Cannon (1,044) is the league's only junior in the elite group. Houston's Courtney Taylor (986) is the next closest junior to 1,000 points.

? BACK TO THE POINT: After beginning the season as the starting point guard, Angelica Mealing (Decatur, Ga.) was relegated to the bench. With the offense struggling, Mealing was reinserted for UCF's last two games and has played well. In the games against Memphis and UAB, Mealing averaged 9.5 points, five assists and 4.5 rebounds. She scored 12 points against UAB, her first double-figure effort of the season.

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.