Knights Looking to Continue Winning Streak at Southern Miss

Feb. 19, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format

By Doug Richards

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (UCFAthletics.com) - On Saturday, the UCF men's basketball team will be seeking its third-straight victory when the Knights meet host Southern Miss at 8 p.m. Eastern at Reed Green Coliseum. UCF (13-12, 5-6 Conference USA) has won three of its last four contests, including a 68-65 victory over visiting Houston earlier this week.

The contest in Hattiesburg is crucial as both teams are tied with Houston and SMU for sixth in the C-USA standings. Southern Miss is 15-10 overall and 5-6 in league play.

Freshman guard Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.), who is averaging a team-high 10.7 points in conference action, led the Knights with 18 points in the win over Houston. Sophomore guard A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) dished out 10 assists in the victory, and also totaled four steals. He is third in the country with 2.8 steals per game.

The Golden Eagles are 9-2 at home this season. The squad's top player is Gary Flowers, who is averaging 14.7 points and 7.8 boards.

The contest will air on the UCF-ISP Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando, with Marc Daniels on the call. Live statistics and audio will be available at UCFAthletics.com.

After meeting the Golden Eagles, UCF will host UAB next Wednesday.

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.

UCF-Southern Miss Series Information
? The all-time series between the Knights and Southern Miss is tied, 3-3

? UCF and the Golden Eagles met twice a year ago, with the Knights taking a 73-61 victory in Orlando, and then Southern Miss ending the Knights' campaign with a 77-53 win in the opening round of the Conference USA Championship in Memphis, Tenn.
? In two contests against Southern Miss last season, A.J. Tyler averaged 10.0 points and 4.5 rebounds
? The last series matchup in Hattiesburg came on Jan. 8, 2008, and Dave Noel scored a game-high 17 points as the Knights shut down Southern Miss for a 52-41 victory in the league opener for both squads
? The 41 points scored by Southern Miss were the second-fewest recorded against the Knights since the school moved to the Division I ranks in 1984

Up Next for the Knights
? UCF will return to Orlando to host UAB Wednesday
? The Blazers have a 4-0 edge in the all-time series

Last Time Out
? Marcus Jordan scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help UCF post a 68-65 win over visiting Houston Tuesday ? With the win, the Knights swept the season series with the Cougars

Two the Hard Way
? After defeating Houston Tuesday, the Knights have now won two-straight league games for the first time this season
? The two-game winning streak is the first for UCF since the team won three-consecutive contests (Drake, Albany, Newberry) from Nov. 22-Dec. 1

Deep Dish
? Against Houston Tuesday, UCF recorded 19 assists on 25 made field goals
? A.J. Rompza dished out 10 of the assists
? In its last three games, UCF averaged 18.0 assists
? In Conference USA play, the Knights are tied for second with Memphis with 14.2 assists per game

Taking Care of Business
? In the team's last three contests, starting guards A.J. Rompza, Marcus Jordan and Taylor Young combined for 40 assists with just 12 turnovers
? Rompza dished out 19 assists with only three turnovers, Jordan had 12 assists and four turnovers and Young registered nine assists and five turnovers

Trey Songz
? On Jan. 30, the Knights went 0-for-12 from deep against visiting Tulsa
? In the four games following that contest, UCF shot 29-of-73 (39.7 percent) from 3-point range

Variety Show
? A different member of UCF's starting lineup has led the Knights in scoring in five-consecutive contests
? Keith Clanton began the stretch with 17 points versus Tulsa on Jan. 30, and was followed by Taylor Young (16 at East Carolina), A.J. Tyler (18 at Memphis), A.J. Rompza (17 vs. Tulane) and Marcus Jordan (18 vs. Houston)

Saturday Night Live
? The contest at Southern Miss will serve as UCF's first Saturday road game since Jan. 16 when the Knights played at Tulsa
? Since the game in Tulsa, UCF has played three Saturday home tilts

F Troop
? Keith Clanton has scored 231 points this year, which ranks seventh on the UCF Division I freshman single-season list
? Joey Graham scored 262 points in 2000-01 and is sixth on the register

The Block is Hot
? Keith Clanton paces the Knights with 38 blocks, and needs just one to enter the top 10 on UCF's single-season swats list
? The rookie is averaging 1.5 blocks per contest, good for fifth in Conference USA
? A year ago, guard Jermaine Taylor paced the Knights with 24 blocked shots in 31 games

League Leader
? In Conference USA action, Marcus Jordan is averaging a team-high 10.7 points
? Along with Tulane's Kendall Timmons, he is one of just two freshmen who pace their squads in scoring in C-USA play
? Jordan averaged 5.4 points in non-league action, and has upped many of his statistics in conference games

Giving Houston a Problem
? Marcus Jordan helped UCF post a season sweep of Houston, averaging 20.5 points on 65.2 percent shooting and 7.0 boards versus the Cougars
? At Houston on Jan. 20, he shot 9-of-9 from the floor and totaled a season-best 23 points
? On Tuesday at the UCF Arena, Jordan scored a team-high 18 points in the triumph over the Cougars

Thief's Theme
? A.J. Rompza is third nationally in steals per game at 2.8
? In Conference USA action, he leads the league in the category (2.8)
? Rompza totaled 46 steals in 29 games last year, and already has 71 this season
?The Chicago native is currently tied for seventh on the UCF single-season steals register

Sharing is Caring
? A.J. Rompza dished out 10 assists with just one turnover Tuesday versus Houston, and is seventh on the season in Conference USA at 4.2 assists per game
? Just a sophomore, the Chicago native already ranks eighth in program history with 255 career assists

Playing Big
? UCF's leading scorer on the season at 10.2 points, A.J. Tyler has shot the ball with great confidence in league play
? In Conference USA games only, he is sixth in the league in field-goal percentage (50.5)
? Tyler shot 43.8 percent from the floor in non-conference play
? Tyler has started all 25 contests and has paced the Knights in points a team-high six times
? In 2008-09, his first year competing with the Knights after transferring from Clemson, Tyler made nine starts and averaged 7.1 points

The Blueprint 3
? In four games in February, Isaac Sosa has connected on 13-of-29 (44.8 percent) of his tries from deep, and has averaged 11.8 points, both good signs for the Knights
? Thirteen of his 16 field goals during the month have come from behind-the-arc
? He struggled with his shooting touch in January, as he shot just 21.4 percent (6-of-28) from 3-point range and averaged 5.5 points during the month
? Sosa, who is averaging 9.9 points, has made 53-of-127 3-point tries in 2009-10, and his 3-point field-goal percentage (41.7) ranks second in Conference USA
? The sophomore has made 110-of-253 (43.5 percent) of his 3-point attempts as a Knight

Head Start
? Since entering the UCF starting lineup on Jan. 30 versus Tulsa, Taylor Young has averaged 7.0 points and 3.4 assists
? The junior averaged 5.8 points as a reserve this season