Women's Basketball Heads to James Madison for Preseason WNIT

Nov. 18, 2010

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By Pat Salvas

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's basketball continues the Preseason WNIT Friday when it takes on Iona at 4:30 p.m. The game will take place on the campus of James Madison as four teams will play at the site for the Consolation Round. Saint Francis (PA) will play the hosts in Friday's second game, set for a 7 p.m. start.

The Knights and Gaels both head to Harrisonburg, Va., after each dropped their first game of the tournament. UCF fought back in the final minutes, before eventually falling to Florida, 77-67, Saturday afternoon in Gainesville. Although the result was the same for Iona, the loss was far more lopsided as the team opened the season with a 32-point defeat to Charlotte, 72-40.

The winner of the game between the Knights and Gaels will play the winner of Saint Francis and James Madison in Saturday's second game. The two losing teams will play in the earlier matchup, set for another 4:30 p.m. tip-off.

Against Florida, junior Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) scored a game-high 19 points, while adding six boards and three steals. She was one of four players to reach double figures in scoring as seniors Chelsie Wiley (Riviera Beach, Fla.) and D'Nay Daniels (Atlanta, Ga.) scored 12 and 14 points apiece. Sophomore Gevenia Carter (Houston, Texas) came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points, including a late layup that pulled her team to within five points.

Daniels had a team-high seven boards in the game, including six on the offensive end of the floor. Wiley connected on two three-pointers in the loss, the only UCF player to hit multiple threes in the game.

UCF benefited from the strong showing of one of its freshman playing in her first collegiate game. Erika Jones (Phenix City, Ala.) started and played 29 minutes against the Gators, scoring six points and pulling down five rebounds.

• LAST TIME OUT: UCF began the season at Florida's O'Connell Center to open the 2010-11 campaign in the Preseason WNIT. The Knights fell, 77-67, setting up the matchup with Iona Friday afternoon at the JMU Convocation Center.

• vs. IONA: UCF and Iona have met just once before with the Knights taking a 59-47 win on Dec. 28, 2006 in Orlando. Seniors Keunta Miles and Francine Houston each scored in double figures to lead the UCF to its fourth-straight victory.

• SCOUTING THE GAELS: Iona fell to Charlotte, 72-40, in its first-round matchup on Saturday afternoon. The Gaels were led by senior Anda Ivkovic's 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting in her first game back after suffering a serious knee injury last season. Junior forward Kristina Ford scored 11 points, while adding a team-high seven boards in the loss. Last season, the Gaels finished 18-4 overall and 13-5 in the MAAC to earn the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Iona eventually fell to No. 3 Fairfield, 61-57, in the semifinals. The Gaels moved on to the Postseason WNIT, losing to Maryland in the first round, 88-53.

• vs. SAINT FRANCIS (PA): A game between the Knights and Red Flash on Saturday would be the first meeting between the two programs.

• SCOUTING THE RED FLASH: Defending Northeast Conference Champion Saint Francis opened the WNIT with a five-point defeat at Toledo, 71-66. The Red Flash then played a regular season game not associated with the tournament as they travelled to Towson on Tuesday night. The Tigers dropped Saint Francis' record to 0-2 with a 65-55 result. The Red Flash led by as many as 13 in the first half, but could not hold on, losing by 10. They will begin the weekend in Harrisonburg with a 7 p.m. tip-off with the host Dukes. The teams have met three times, but haven't played since the 2000-01 season. JMU holds a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series.

• vs. JAMES MADISON: UCF and James Madison have played twice before with the teams splitting with one win apiece. In the first game of the 1980s, the Knights defeated the Dukes, 78-62, on Jan. 2, 1980. The teams next played on Dec, 29, 1983 in the Rhode Island Classic with James Madison prevailing, 64-54. This weekend will mark the first trip to Harrisonburg for UCF.

• SCOUTING THE DUKES: James Madison will host the four games this weekend on its home floor at the JMU Convocation Center. The Dukes hosted a first-round game with Hampton last Friday, falling 69-64. Following the weekend of WNIT play, JMU will travel to Puerto Aventuras, Mexico to take on Iowa and Montana in the Caribbean Challenge. The Dukes' first home game following the Mexico trip will feature perennial national power Duke on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

• FIRST-YEAR PLAYER: Freshman Erika Jones made her presence felt on the floor on Saturday in Gainesville. The 6-foot-2 forward started in her first college game, playing 29 minutes and adding six points and five boards.

• OFF THE BENCH: Gevenia Carter came off the bench to add a career-high 12 points. Her two rebounds were also a career high for the second-year guard. Carter looks to be the Knights' key reserve this season as she led all non-starters with 22 minutes of playing time at Florida.

• TOP 10: Aisha Patrick was just three steals away from moving into the program's top 10 all-time leaders with her coming into the game. Midway through the second half, Patrick intercepted a pass and went in for a fast-break bucket. The steal was her third of the game and gave her the 10th-best figure in UCF program history with 142 in her career.

• START IT UP: With the loss to Florida, the Knights have now dropped their last five season-opening games dating back to the 2006-07 campaign. In each of the last two seasons, the Knights have lost their first game only to come back and even their record with a win in the second.

Fans can listen to the action on UCFathletics.com. Carson Ingle will handle the play-by-play duties this weekend in Harrisonburg.

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.