Caldwell's 30-Point Effort Leads UCF to Big Win Over Jacksonville


Dec. 20, 2010

Final Stats

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By Pat Salvas

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Two days after Senior Jelisa Caldwell (Macon, Ga.) walked across the UCF Arena stage to accept her bachelor's degree, she played the best offensive game of her career. Caldwell scored a career-high 30 points to help the UCF women's basketball team to a 33-point victory over Jacksonville (6-4) Monday night in that same arena, 92-59.

Caldwell's 30-point performance was the first for UCF (5-5) since Chelsie Wiley (Riviera Beach, Fla.) scored 31 against UAB on March 1, 2008. The senior guard eclipsed her previous career high of 20 points by halftime, finishing the first with 21 points. Caldwell started the game 7-of-8 from the field and had 17 of the team's first 32 points less than 10 minutes into the contest.

"I just did what coach has asked me to do all season," Caldwell said. "I've been getting into the gym and putting up more shots to get better. Everything started on the defensive end and everything that happened tonight for me was because my teammates made it happen."

"I think Jelisa has been very consistent in practice and she has been somebody that we knew could score like that," head coach Joi Williams said. "She is a versatile player who can play both inside and out and you have to honor her from the three-point line."

Caldwell finished the game 12-of-19 from the field and 3-of-7 from behind the arc. Her only other game of 20 points came nearly three years ago at Rice on Jan. 20, 2008, while she doubled her previous season high of 15 points against Richmond from Nov. 26.

But it wasn't all Caldwell that lifted the Knights to their first 90-point game since Dec. 15, 2007, it was a complete performance by every player in a UCF uniform Monday night.

"I thought it was a great team effort and it started on the defensive end," Williams said. "That's what we've been emphasizing in practice the last week is really being a lot more aggressive defensively, rebounding and blocking out. I thought we got a lot of offense through our defense tonight."

For the third time this season and the second time in the last three games, four Knights scored in double figures against the Dolphins. Junior Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) posted 15 in the win, while Wiley and sophomore Gevenia Carter (Houston, Texas) each had 11.

Patrick added a game-high five assists, while pulling down seven rebounds in the win. Her 15 points came on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor.

The UCF bench came up huge in the win, combining to score a season-high 32 points.

"I thought our bench did a great job," Williams added. "Sarah Green, Erika Jones, Gevenia Carter and Racine Davis all did a great job when they came off the bench as did Angelica Mealing and I think that they all really contributed to our total-team effort tonight."

Jones matched her career high of eight points in the win, while pulling down a game-high nine rebounds. Fellow freshmen Aarika Judge (Augusta, Ga.) and Leo Montalvo (Orlando, Fla.) each scored the first points of their college careers off the bench in the second half.

Davis had a season-high five points and added three boards, while senior D'Nay Daniels (Atlanta, Ga.) had four points and five rebounds.

The Knights' defense pressured the Dolphins much of the game, causing them to commit 24 turnovers in the loss. UCF matched its season high with 13 steals in the game, something they also accomplished in their last home game a week ago against Middle Tennessee.

Crystal Bell led JU with 22 points and Taneske Richardson added 15, but it was the Dolphins' inconsistencies on the offensive end and the opportunistic defense of the Knights that led to the 33-point margin of victory.

A quick turnaround means UCF will look to build on the momentum from this win and take it into Wednesday's game in Dayton, Ohio, against Wright State. The Knights and Raiders tip-off at 7 p.m. from the Nutter Center.