Women's Basketball Opens Season Saturday at Florida in Preseason WNIT

Nov. 12, 2010

Game Notes in PDF Format

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By Pat Salvas

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's basketball team will open the season in the Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament for the first time in program history. The Knights will take on intra-state rival Florida in Gainesville on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. at the O'Connell Center. The game marks the season opener for both the Knights and the Gators.

UCF played Flagler in a preseason exhibition contest on Sunday afternoon at the UCF Arena. The Knights fell behind early in the game, but came on strong midway through the first half to bury the Saints in a 51-point victory, 82-31.

The Knights enter the 2010-11 season with the final game of last season as their motivating factor. UCF held a late lead in its quarterfinal matchup with Tulane, before falling in the final minutes to the eventual Conference USA Champions, 63-62.

A plethora of veteran leadership returns for the Knights this season to try and regain their championship form of two seasons ago. For the first time under fourth-year head coach Joi Williams, UCF will have a true senior class as five members of the team return for their final season with the Knights.

Chelsie Wiley (Riviera Beach, Fla.), Leah Paige (Atlanta, Ga.), Angelica Mealing (Decatur, Ga.), Jelisa Caldwell (Macon, Ga.) and D'Nay Daniels (Atlanta, Ga.) all are in their last season with UCF and will look to compete for the second Conference USA crown of their careers.

Saturday's game is a return to Gainesville for the first time for Williams who served as an assistant coach for the Gators from 1990-2002. Williams was an assistant when current Florida head coach Amanda Butler was a player for the Gators and both served as assistants together from 1995-97.

? LAST TIME OUT: In Sunday's exhibition win over Flagler, Mealing posted game highs of 15 points, eight assists and six steals. Freshman Erika Jones (Phenix City, Ala.) recorded a game-high 15 rebounds, while adding the team's only two blocks. Four members of the team posted double-digit scoring totals in the victory as Daniels, Wiley and sophomore Gevenia Carter (Houston, Texas) joined Mealing with 10 or more points.

? THE SERIES: Florida holds a commanding 24-0 lead in the all-time series between the two teams. The Gators have won 13 games on their home court, while claiming the remaining 11 wins in Orlando.

? THE LAST MEETING: The two teams last met on Nov. 30, 2004 in Gainesville with Florida prevailing, 67-42. Francine Houston led the Knights with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from field, including 3-of-5 from three-point range.

? FIRST-YEAR PLAYERS: Besides Jones' 15-rebound performance in her exhibition debut, the Knights saw a strong showing from fellow freshman Sarah Green (Columbia, S.C.) on Sunday afternoon. Green, one of the nation's top 100 recruits, pulled down eight rebounds against the Saints, second to just Jones.

? OFF THE BENCH: Carter came off the bench to score 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting. In her first season with the Knights in 2009-10, Carter's season high was 10 against Alabama on Dec. 14 at the UCF Arena.

? RECORD WATCH: Senior D'Nay Daniels enters the season just 252 points away from joining the 1,000-point club. Daniels averaged 9.6 points per game as a junior in 2009-10 and will look to join current teammate Chelsie Wiley as the 14th member of the club.

? MOVIN' ON UP... THE LIST: Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) is just three steals away from moving into the program's top 10 all-time leaders with her 139-career thefts. The junior has averaged nearly 70 steals in each of her first two years with the Knights, positioning herself as one of the league's premier defenders.

? START IT UP: The Knights will be looking to win their season opener for the first time since the 2005-06 season when they defeated Florida A&M, 62-54. That season was the first year that the Knights competed in C-USA.

Fans can listen to the action on UCFathletics.com. Scott Adams will handle the play-by-play duties for the Knights this 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.