Knights Look to Remain Perfect in C-USA Play Thursday Against UAB

Jan. 12, 2011

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Complete Game Notes in PDF Format

By Pat Salvas

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - For just the second time since joining Conference USA in 2005, the UCF women's basketball team is off to a 2-0 start in league play following a 24-point win over Southern Miss Sunday afternoon. The Knights (9-6, 2-0) will put that mark on the line Thursday night when they host UAB (8-7, 0-2) in a game that will be broadcast live on Bright House Sports Network at 7 p.m.

After trailing in the opening minutes, UCF used a strong offensive performance and stifling defense to control the rest of the game as it convincingly defeated Southern Miss, 67-43. Senior forward D'Nay Daniels (Atlanta, Ga.) recorded her third double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Starting guard Jelisa Caldwell (Macon, Ga.) scored 14 points and dished out a career-high five assists, while fellow senior Angelica Mealing (Decatur, Ga.) had a season-high six assists. Junior guard Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) matched Daniels, pulling down 10 boards in the game, her fourth double-digit rebounding performance of the season.

UAB is off to a slow start in league play, dropping its first two contests. The Blazers fell to Southern Miss on Thursday night, 46-43, before being dropped by defending conference champion Tulane, 81-53, Sunday afternoon at home. The Blazers are the lowest scoring team in C-USA (58.3), but have a winning mark thanks to the best scoring defense in the league (57.4).

The Knights will venture back out on the road following Thursday when they head to SMU on Sunday at 2 p.m. The contest between UCF and SMU can be seen live by a national audience on ESPN2.

Season and single-game tickets are on sale now as well with season ticket packages starting at just $39. Fans can purchase tickets online here or by calling (407) UCF-1000.

Thursday's Game
UCF will look to continue its winning ways as it plays host to UAB on Thursday night. The Knights are currently on a four-game winning streak after dismantling Southern Miss by 24 points Sunday afternoon, 67-43. The win pushed the Knights to 9-6 overall and 2-0 in C-USA play.

Scouting the Blazers
UAB enters Thursday's game having dropped its first two league games of the season. The Blazers began its conference schedule with a three-point loss at home to Southern Miss, 46-43, last week before a 28-point loss to defending conference champion Tulane on Sunday afternoon, 81-53. The Blazers' offense ranks last in the league in points per game at 58.3, while the team's defense allows a league-low 57.4 points per game to the opposition. Amber Jones is the team's current scoring leader, averaging 10.9 points a game.

All-Time Series
These two teams split the season series last year with the road team claiming the victory in each contest. The Blazers lead the all-time series 11-4, but the Knights have won three of the last four meetings between the two.

On the Air
The game will be broadcast live on the Bright House Sports Network with Dave Baumann and Mike O'Donnell calling the game. The rest of the UCF women's basketball season will be broadcast through Genesis Communications and can be heard on either WAMT 1190 AM or WHOO ESPN 1080 AM. Scott Adams will have the call live from the UCF Arena Thursday and the rest of the season.

Double-Double Daniels
D'Nay Daniels remains the only UCF player this season to record a double-double. Against Southern Miss, Daniels recorded her third points/rebounds double-double when she scored 16 and added 10 boards.

Matching Her Every Step of the Way
The stat lines between Daniels and junior guard Aisha Patrick always seem to have a similar appearance in each game. After both scored 21 points and had eight rebounds at Rice, Patrick matched Daniels with 10 boards against the Golden Eagles. It was the fourth time that both had reached 10 or more rebounds in a game this season and the third time that they both tied for the team-lead in rebounds in a game.

Career Year
Jelisa Caldwell's scoring average this season of 10.9 is more than three times what it was coming into this year (3.1). Caldwell ranks third on the team in scoring, but has been one of UCF best overall players at both ends of the floor. At Rice, she had a career-high five steals and followed that with a career-high five assists to go along with her 14 points against Southern Miss. Caldwell also earned the C-USA Player of the Week award Dec. 23 after averaging 25.5 per game against Jacksonville and Wright State.

Back to Her Old Form
With her season-high six assists against the Golden Eagles, senior guard Angelica Mealing moved into sole possession of fourth place on the program's all-time list. Mealing now has 327 assists for her career, moving her one past Marcie Swiley ('83) and five up on LaShay King ('06).

Send It Back
UCF had a season-high six blocks against USM. Two-thirds of those rejections came from unlikely sources as guards Mealing and freshman Aarika Judge both had two apiece. The two blocks matched a career high for Mealing, while setting a new mark for Judge, who has played in just six games this season after missing the first eight with an injury.

Can't Be Stressed Enough
UCF continued to dominate at home with its 24-point win Sunday. The Knights are 6-1 in games played at the UCF Arena this season and are averaging more than eight points more per game (75.4 to 67.1) in Orlando than in true road games. The team is also shooting 100-percentage points better from the free-throw line at home than they are on the road (.741 to .641). UCF defeats teams by an average of margin of 18.3 points at home.

Defensive Efforts
The last three games have illustrated the Knights' commitment to defense. Six blocks and a season-low 43 points allowed against Southern Miss followed the Rice game that saw UCF record a season-high 16 steals and force 20 turnovers in total. In the final nonconference game, the Knights held Valdosta State to a then-season-low 44 points on just 17 made field goals. Southern Miss' 30.0 percent shooting (18-60) from the field was the second lowest by an opponent this season.

Streak Notes
The current four-game winning streak is the longest since victories in the final two regular season games and all four C-USA Tournament contests to claim the 2008-09 league crown. Twice last season, the Knights put together three-game streaks. It is currently the third longest in C-USA after Memphis (10) and Tulane (6).