Women's Basketball Hosts UCF Thanksgiving Classic This Weekend

Nov. 24, 2010

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Game Notes in PDF Format

By Pat Salvas

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After starting the season with three games on the road in the Preseason WNIT, the UCF women's basketball team returns home this weekend. The Knights will host the UCF Thanksgiving Classic at the UCF Arena on Friday and Saturday with games against Richmond and Western Kentucky.

UCF will play Richmond on Friday at 2:30 p.m. after a noon matchup between Western Kentucky and Michigan State. The Knights will then take on the Lady Toppers on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the final game of the two-day event.

In the team's last game, the Knights fell to James Madison in overtime in the final of the Preseason WNIT Consolation Round, 82-78. The game, played at the JMU Convocation Center, featured several lead changes and ties down the stretch before the host Dukes prevailed in the overtime period. The Knights earned the right to play in the game after defeating Iona the previous day, 59-48.

Both Richmond and Western Kentucky were participants in last season's Postseason WNIT after both posted 20- plus win seasons. The two teams are headed in different directions as they come to Orlando this year, however. The Spiders are 4-1 this season with wins in its last three games. In contrast, Western Kentucky has not been able to duplicate last season's success early on, going winless (0-3) to start 2010-11.

Michigan State enters the weekend with a record of 3-1 with its lone loss of the season coming to No. 2 Baylor, a team that reached last season's Final Four.

The Knights have won their last two home openers and 20 games overall at the UCF Arena since it opened in 2007. This weekend marks the first two of 14 home contests this season for the Knights, including eight C-USA games at the UCF Arena.

Season and single-game tickets for the 2010-11 women's basketball team are on sale now. Season tickets start at just $39. Fans can purchase tickets online or by calling (407) UCF-1000.

Friday, Nov. 26, 2010 - 2:30 p.m.
Orlando, Fla. - UCF Arena
UCF Knights (1-2)
vs. Richmond Spiders (4-1)

Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 - 2:30 p.m.
Orlando, Fla. - UCF Arena
UCF Knights (1-2)
vs. Western Kentucky Lady Toppers (0-3)

Welcome Home
The UCF women's basketball team will play its first home game of the 2010-11 season Friday when its hosts Richmond in the UCF Thanksgiving Classic. The 2:30 p.m. matchup follows the noon tip-off between Western Kentucky and Michigan State in the first game of the weekend. The Knights and Lady Toppers will meet in the second game of the weekend, Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Road Swing
The Knights began the year with three games on the road in the Preseason WNIT. After a season-opening loss at Florida, UCF headed to Harrisonburg, Va., to play in the Consolation Round hosted by James Madison. The Knights split the weekend at the JMU Convocation Center with an 11-point win over Iona, 58-49, before falling in OT to the hosts, 82-78.

Career Highs
- Junior Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) matched her career high with 14 rebounds against JMU on Saturday night. The third-year Knight also pulled down 14 boards in last season's finale at against Tulane in the Conference USA Tournament. That game was also an overtime contest.

- Sophomore Gevenia Carter (Houston Texas) eclipsed her previous career high when she finished with 16 points against the Dukes. Carter shot 5-of-10 from the floor in the game, with two three-point field goals and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe, all of which were also career highs.

Scouting the Spiders
Richmond comes to Orlando with a 4-1 record after a 71-43 victory over Hampton Tuesday night. Ten players scored points in the 28-point win with Brittani Shells leading the way with 15. The Spiders' bench accounted for 30 points in the game, while the team also recorded 31 points off Hampton turnovers. In the Spiders' previous game, they knocked off ACC opponent North Carolina State at home, 81-75, on Nov. 20. Shells scored 28 points against the Wolfpack and has been the team's top scorer in all five games in 2010-11. Richmond will play the Michigan State on Saturday at noon in the first-ever matchup between the two programs. The Spiders took the only game between Richmond and UCF with a 75-60 win on Dec. 23, 1993.

Scouting the Lady Toppers
The Knights' second opponent of the weekend will be Western Kentucky on Saturday. The Lady Toppers will first play Michigan State on Friday at noon before playing its final game of the weekend against the hosts from UCF. WKU opened the season with a loss at Louisiana Tech, before then alternating home and road losses with Northwestern and at No. 6 Duke. Janae Howard leads the team in scoring with 14.0 points per game, while LaTeira Owens' 7.0 rebounds per game are tops on the team. The Toppers own a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series with UCF, with all three wins coming in the 1991-92 season with both teams playing in the Sun Belt Conference.

Scouting the Spartans
Michigan State comes into the UCF Thanksgiving Classic with a mark of 3-1 and ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll, while receiving votes in the USA Today Poll. Senior Kalisha Keane leads the team in scoring (19.3 ppg) and assists (3.5 apg) this season, while Cetera Washington's 5.5 rebounds per game are the most amongst the Spartans. The team's lone loss came at No. 2 Baylor on Nov. 19. Keane scored a career-high 28 points in the 78-52 loss to the Bears, becoming the first Spartan player in four years to record back-to-back games of 20 or more points.

Scoring From Deep
Senior Chelsie Wiley (Riviera Beach, Fla.) had a season-best 19 points at JMU. The fifth-year guard connected on four field goals in the game, all coming from behind the arc. Wiley's third trifecta of the first half came just as the buzzer sounded, pulling her team to within one, 30-29, at the break. She rounded out the game with season bests in rebounds (4) and free throws (7-8).

After Patrick's team-leading 10.7 rebounds per game, senior D'Nay Daniels (Atlanta, Ga.) has been the team's best rebounder. Her 8.3 boards a game rank second on the Knights, while her scoring average of 11.0 is fourth. Against Iona, Daniels pulled down a season-high 10 rebounds; marking the sixth time in her career she has reached double figures in boards.

10 From Downtown
The Knights' 10 three-pointers on Saturday at James Madison were the most by the team since connecting on 10 against Ole Miss on Dec. 20, 2008.

Patrick played a season-high 42 minutes in the overtime loss at JMU. Her career high in minutes played came in last season's finale against Tulane when she played all 40 minutes of regulation and the entire five-minute overtime period.

Making an Impact
Freshman Erika Jones (Phenix City, Ala.) has stepped into an immediate role with the Knights in her first year with the team. Jones has started in each of the team's first three games this season, averaging 18.7 minutes per contest during that time.