UCF to Conclude Road Trip Monday at UTEP

Feb. 20, 2011

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By Doug Richards

Complete Release in PDF Format

EL PASO, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will conclude a difficult three-game road stretch Monday at UTEP. The Conference USA contest at the Don Haskins Center will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern.

The game against the Miners was originally scheduled for Feb. 2, but was postponed due to the effects of a winter storm, even though the Knights and the officials were in El Paso for the contest.

UTEP is 20-6 overall and at 8-3 in league play, currently sits in first in C-USA. The Miners, who are 15-1 at home this year, are currently receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

UCF (16-9, 3-9) will be playing its second game in three days. The Knights fell 63-58 at UAB Saturday in Birmingham. Sophomore guard Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) paced the Knights with 18 points.

Under new head coach Donnie Jones, UCF has already surpassed its victory total from a year ago, when the squad went 15-17. The Knights have four regular-season games remaining.

UTEP is led by C-USA Player of the Year candidate Randy Culpepper. The guard is averaging 19.3 points per contest.

UCF-UTEP will air on the UCF Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will have the call from El Paso. Pregame coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. Live audio and video will be available at UCFAthletics.com.

The contest will conclude a three-game road swing for the Knights. UCF's next home game is Saturday against Southern Miss at 7 p.m. at the UCF Arena. Tickets for the game with the Golden Eagles are available at Ticketmaster.com and UCFAthletics.com.

Series Record UTEP, 4-3
Last Meeting UTEP 76, UCF 54 (March 11, 2010 in Tulsa, Okla.)

? The Miners have a 4-3 edge in the all-time series with the Knights, and have won three-straight contests
? Most recently, the squads met in the 2010 Conference USA Championship quarterfinals in Tulsa, Okla., and UTEP posted a 76-54 victory
? Keith Clanton led the Knights with 12 points, and Jeremy Williams paced the Miners with 17 points on 9-of-9 shooting at the free-throw line
? In the last meeting in El Paso, UTEP held on for a 73-68 win over the Knights on Feb. 12, 2009, despite 38 points from UCF star Jermaine Taylor
? The Miners hit 21 free throws in the second half as the game, which took two hours and 30 minutes, featured 53 combined fouls
? During his time as the head coach at Marshall, Donnie Jones went 0-3 versus the Miners
? UCF will return to El Paso in March when the city hosts the Conference USA Championship for the first time
? The Knights have already played one game in Texas this year, having met host Houston on Jan. 8

Close Calls
? UCF's last four contests have been decided by a total of 10 points
? UCF has played 12 Conference USA games, and the winning margin in nine of those contests has been less than 10 points
? The Knights' nine league losses have come by an average of 8.6 points
? UCF's three conference victories have come by an average of 3.3 points
? UCF has played five games in February, and the contests have been decided by an average of 3.4 points
? On the season, UCF is 8-6 in games decided by 10 or fewer points

A Better Mark
? Wednesday's victory at Tulane allowed the Knights to surpass their victory total from a year ago, when they went 15-17 overall
? Under new head coach Donnie Jones, UCF is 16-9 in 2010-11
? Last year, UCF did not win its 15th game until March 10 at the Conference USA Championship as the Knights won only 14 regular-season contests

Last Time Out
? UCF struggled with its shooting Saturday and fell 63-58 at UAB
? The Knights shot just 34.0 percent for the game, compared to 40.9 percent for the hosts
? The Blazers led 30-20 at the break after limiting the Knights to just 23.1 percent shooting in the opening stanza
? Marcus Jordan led the Knights with 18 points

Road Warriors
? The game at UTEP is the final contest of a season-high three-consecutive road games for the Knights
? UCF was originally slated to play at Tulane and UAB (Saturday) this week, and then have next Wednesday off before hosting Southern Miss on Saturday, Feb. 26
? But because UCF's game at UTEP, which was slated for Feb. 2 and was postponed due to a winter storm in El Paso, has been rescheduled for Monday, the Knights have three-straight away from Orlando
? Since joining Conference USA in 2005, UCF has never played three-consecutive league games on the road

Day Trippers
? The contest against UTEP will serve as only the third day game of the season for the Knights
? UCF is 2-0 in day games, having defeated Southeastern Louisiana and Miami in non-conference play

Free Falling
? The Knights might rank sixth in Conference USA in free-throw percentage (69.3), but the team has shot the ball much better as of late
? UCF shot 82.4 percent at the line in its last four games, including a season-high 94.4 percent (17-of-18) at UAB Saturday
? That mark was good for fifth on the UCF single-game register
? During the four-game span, both Marcus Jordan (21-of-24, 87.5 percent) and Keith Clanton (11-of-13, 84.6 percent) shot very well at the line

Block it Out
? Even with four regular-season games remaining on its schedule, UCF has already established a school single-season blocks record with 157 swats in 25 contests
? After totaling just 95 blocks in 32 games last year, the Knights are fourth nationally, averaging 6.3 blocks per outing
? The previous UCF single-season blocks record was 143 in 2004-05
? Tom Herzog (52 blocks) leads Conference USA and is 26th in the country with 2.3 blocks per game, and Keith Clanton (50 blocks) is third in the conference and 54th nationally at 2.0

On Line
? Marcus Jordan leads Conference USA with 160 free-throw attempts
? He has hit 128 foul shots, good for seventh on the UCF single-season register
? Jordan ranks eighth in C-USA in free-throw percentage (80.0)

Point Production
? Marcus Jordan has scored in double figures in 23 of UCF's 25 games this season, and has totaled at least 20 points six times
? As a freshman, he had 11 double-digit scoring performances, with one over 20 points

Making a Contribution
? Keith Clanton has scored at least 10 points in 20 of UCF's 25 games this year
? But even when Clanton is not scoring, he is still making a contribution to the team because in all five of the contests where he did not score in double digits, he grabbed at least seven rebounds
? Clanton totaled 12 rebounds Saturday at UAB
? He is averaging 8.6 boards, good for fifth in Conference USA

Block it Out
? Keith Clanton recorded three blocks at UAB to give him 50 for the season
? The performance also allowed the sophomore to move to fourth on the school career blocks register with 95 blocks
? Issac McKinnon is third with 106 blocks from 1979-83

The Kid is Alright
? A.J. Rompza played 24 minutes off the bench Saturday at UAB, and finished with 15 points
? The scoring output matched a season high for the point guard, who also scored 15 points in the win over USF on Nov. 18
? The performance was the fifth double-digit scoring effort of the season for Rompza, and his first since totaling 10 points at Houston on Jan. 8