UCF Looks for Regular Season Sweep at Marshall Sunday

Feb. 12, 2011

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By Pat Salvas

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - It took a last-second, half-court shot from sophomore Gevenia Carter (Houston, Texas) for the UCF women's basketball team to edge UTEP Thursday night, 68-65. With that exciting finish and Conference USA win behind them, the Knights (13-10, 6-4 C-USA) must now turn their attention to Marshall (6-17, 2-8 C-USA) on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Huntington, W.Va.

These two teams met earlier this season in Orlando; a Jan. 23 matchup that saw the Knights win by 28 points, 68-40. Senior D'Nay Daniels (Atlanta, Ga.) led all players in the game with 19 points, while also leading the Knights with seven rebounds.

Senior guard Chelsie Wiley (Riviera Beach, Fla.) scored a season-high 26 points and had a UCF season-best six three-pointers against UTEP. Junior Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) had 11 points to go along with her team-high eight rebounds. Patrick also had a key steal late that eventually helped her team to tie the game and set up for the final shot.

Marshall is just 1-4 since its loss at UCF Arena in late January, with the lone win coming on the road at Southern Miss, 57-48, on Feb. 6. The Thundering Herd's Tynikki Crook ranks amongst the top scorers in the conference, averaging 16.4 points a game this season. In the first game between these two teams, the Knights held Crook to just 12 points, five points under her then average of 17.

UCF will return home for consecutive games at the UCF Arena following Sunday's tilt at Marshall. The Knights will play host to Tulane on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. and ECU on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.

Don't miss out on another exciting UCF women's basketball game this season as affordable single-game tickets for remaining home games are available right now. Tickets start at $2 for youth and seniors, $5 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased online at UCFAthletics.com or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000.

Sunday's Game
The Knights will play Marshall for the second time this season when the teams square off Sunday afternoon, marking the first repeat opponent this season for UCF. In the last meeting, the Knights defeated the Thundering Herd by 28 points, 68-40; the second largest margin of victory for UCF this season (33 vs. Jacksonville).

Scouting the Thundering Herd
Marshall has won just two of its 10 C-USA games this season and is 1-4 since last playing the Knights on Jan. 23. Tynikki Crook remains the team's leading scorer, averaging nearly 16 and a half points per game in 2010-11. Although Crook recorded a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds in the last meeting, she was held five points below her season average by a UCF defense that forced 20 total turnovers. The Thundering Herd defeated Southern Miss on the road last Sunday before dropping Thursday night's game at SMU, 62-49.

All-Time Series
Despite UCF having won the last three contests and five of the last six overall, Marshall still holds a 7-6 advantage in the all-time series. The Knights are 2-3 in Huntington, dropping the game played there last season by 14 points, 74-60.

On the Air
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 Huntington, W.Va., on Sunday and for the rest of the season.

From Downtown
UCF connected on 10 three-point field goals against the Miners. That figure matched the team's season high, done twice before against James Madison and Wright State. On both previous occasions, the game was played on the road with the home team coming out on top. Senior Chelsie Wiley connected on a UCF season-high six trifectas (6-11), while Gevenia Carter's half-court shot to win the game as time expired was her first three of the game.

First Time
For the first time this season, UCF overcame a deficit to win after trailing at the five-minute mark. The Knights were previously 0-8 when down with five minutes remaining in the game before defeating the Miners after trailing 56-54 at that point.

Outshot? Okay
UCF also erased another unwanted record with the victory over UTEP. It marked the first time this season that the Knights beat an opponent despite being outshot in the game. UCF was 0-11 in contests in which its opponent had a higher shooting percentage prior to Thursday's win. UTEP outshot the Knights, 41.7 percent to 37.9 percent.

25 and Over
Wiley's 26 points were a season high for the senior guard. It also marked the first time that a UCF player scored more than 25 points in a game since fellow senior Jelisa Caldwell dropped 30 on Jacksonville on Dec. 20.

Straight Starts
Aisha Patrick made her 75th straight start Thursday night, while Daniels was in the UCF starting lineup for the 50th consecutive time. Wiley is the third member of the team to start in each of the Knights' 23 games this season.

Close Win
The three-point win was the first for the Knights this season. UCF now has 13 victories this season and only twice have those wins come by fewer than 10 points. Prior to beating the Miners, the Knights edged FIU by nine, 74-65, on Dec. 5 in Miami in the only other single-digit victory of 2010-11.

Unsung Hero
The win over UTEP will be remembered for Carter's shot at the buzzer. It is unlikely that the play would have had the same result had junior Ashia Kelly not stepped up in the backcourt to set a screen freeing up Carter for a better look. Kelly's screen of Kim Smith gave Carter the space she needed to get to midcourt for the game-winning shot. Kelly also had seven rebounds in the game, one shy of her season-high.

Paint Points
UTEP outscored UCF, 34-14, in the paint. However, the Knights overcame that discrepancy by shooting much better from three-point range than the Miners. Thirty (10-24) of UCF's points came from behind the arc, while just nine of UTEP's point total came via the long-range shot.