No. 2 UCF Meets No. 4 Tulane for C-USA Championship Saturday Night

March 12, 2011

Complete Game Notes in PDF Format

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By Pat Salvas

EL PASO, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's basketball team has been preparing for this game since the moment last season ended. Saturday night at the Don Haskins Center on the campus of UTEP, the No. 2 seed Knights (21-10) will square off with No. 4 Tulane (22-9) for the Conference USA Championship in a game that will be broadcast nationally on CBS College at 8 p.m. EST.

UCF advanced to its second championship game in three seasons after dismantling Memphis, 81-63, in Friday's first semifinal of the day. All five starters scored in double figures for the Knights to propel them to a spot in the league title game for just the second time since joining the conference for the 2005-06 season. UCF defeated Southern Miss in overtime in the 2009 C-USA Championship Game on Tulane's floor as the Green Wave hosted that season's postseason.

Senior Chelsie Wiley went over 1,500-career points with a game-high 21 against the Tigers, while fellow senior D'Nay Daniels recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The Knights ride a 10-game win streak into the finals against the Green Wave. That 10-game run is the longest for UCF since the 1983-84 season when it put together an 11-game streak. That year was also the last time the program had at least 21 wins in a season, a figure the Knights reached Friday with its semifinal victory.

Tulane knocked off top-seeded Houston in the second semifinal of the day. Houston earned the top spot in the conference tournament after putting together just the second perfect regular season (16-0) in league history. The Green Wave limited C-USA Player of the Year Courtney Taylor to just four points in 16 minutes of play to advance to Saturday's final with the 70-60 win.

The entire 2011 Buick C-USA Basketball Championship will be broadcast through the UCF Sports Network presented by IMG College via Genesis Communications. Saturday's title game will be broadcast on WAMT 1190 AM. All games can also be heard live on UCFathletics.com. As always, Scott Adams will handle the play-by-play duties live from El Paso for the entire tournament.

Saturday's Game
The UCF Knights will look to cap their best season in nearly three decades with a win in Saturday night's 2011 Conference USA Championship Game. The No. 2 seeded Knights will take on No. 4 Tulane with the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament on the line.

So We Meet Again
The Knights and Green Wave meet in the C-USA Championship for the second year in a row as they take to the floor Saturday night. UCF's 2010 season came to an end when Tulane eliminated the Knights with a 63-62 come-from-behind win in the quarterfinals in Tulsa.

Third Times a Charm
UCF and Tulane have met in the conference tournament twice before with the Green Wave taking both contests. Last season's quarterfinal win ended the Knights' bid at repeating as league champions. Tulane also eliminated UCF, 69-52, in the first-ever C-USA postseason game for the Knights on March 2, 2006.

2009 Title Game
UCF has been to the championship game once before in 2009. The Knights defeated Southern Miss in overtime on Tulane's home floor to claim its first C-USA crown in program history.

Going Streaking
UCF has won 10 games in a row, its longest stretch since it rattled off 11 in a row during the 1983-84 campaign.

21 and Up
UCF moves to 21-10 on the year with the win over Memphis. It is the most wins at the school since 1983-84 (23-7). The UCF single-season record for victories came in 1982-83 (25-5).

All-Time Series
The Feb. 17 win evened the all-time series between the Green Wave and the Knights at five games apiece. UCF is 4-1 in Orlando, but have lost both neutral-site games when taking on Tulane. The only meeting this season between the two was also the first time in 10 games that overtime was needed to determine a winner as the Knights prevailed, 73-69.

How They Did It
UCF improves to 7-4 all time at the Conference USA Championship, including 2©\0 in the semifinals. It becomes the first No. 2 seed to advance into the championship round since SMU in 2008. The Mustangs went on to win the title that year.

Beat Them Big
The 18-point margin of victory (81-63) against the Tigers was the largest in C-USA Semifinal action history. The prior standard was 17, set in both 2003 and 2008.

Big Boards
Senior D'Nay Daniels registered 11 rebounds to lift her career total to 636. That total places Daniels fourth all-time in program history. The 11 boards also matched a season high, which she has now done three times in 2010-11.

Fourth and Counting
Senior Chelsie Wiley poured in 21 points against Memphis Friday morning. Entering the game, she needed just 14 points to become the fourth player in program history with 1,500 or more points in a career. She surpassed the figure with a 3-pointer 1:02 into the second half for her 15th point of the game.

Another Record Approaches
Already one of the most prolific shooters in UCF history, Wiley is on the cusp of reaching the top of a program record. She drilled four 3-pointers against the Tigers, bringing her career sum to 212. That is one shy of matching Francine Houston's ('07) career mark of 213.

Connecting from Downtown
The Knights connected on 55.0 percent (11-20) of their 3-pointers Friday morning. That figure rates as the eighth-highest in C-USA Tournament history and also marked the first time since last December that the Knights shot over 50 percent from long range in a game.

Coming from Behind
The Knights' comeback victory over UAB in the quarterfinals was a game of several firsts for the team this season. It marked the first time in 2010-11 that UCF won a game after trailing at the half (0-7). That 15-point deficit at the break was also the largest overcome this season by the Knights to win a game. UCF trailed by 10 with seven and a half minutes remaining to Tulane on Feb. 17 before coming back to win in overtime.

Double Down
Daniels posted her team-leading eight double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds against Memphis. Junior Aisha Patrick is second on the team with three double-doubles this year.

Career Days
When They Count Junior Ashia Kelly connected on a career-high four 3-pointers against Memphis. Kelly's previous high of three in a game came against ECU at home on Feb. 20. The junior forward finished the game 4-of-6 from long range, including 3-of-4 in the first half.

Dishing Them Out
Playing Memphis twice in the last three games, Patrick combined to dish out 16 assists against the Tigers. Closing out the regular season wearing No. 3 to honor injured senior Angelica Mealing, Patrick matched her season high with nine assists. Against the Tigers on Friday, Patrick had seven to lead all players.

Party of Five
All five UCF starters scored in double figures Friday. Six times this season, four members of the team reached double figures in the same game.