Knights to Open UCF Holiday Classic Thursday vs. Stetson

Dec. 28, 2011

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By Doug Richards

UCF vs. Stetson (UCF Holiday Classic)
Date Thursday, Dec. 29
Time 7 p.m.
Location Orlando, Fla. | UCF Arena
Television None
Radio UCF IMG Sports Network - 740 AM
Tickets Single-Game | Season
Internet Coverage All-Access |
Game Notes UCF Notes
Social Media @UCF_MBasketball | Facebook

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will open the annual UCF Holiday Classic Thursday with a contest against local foe Stetson. The game at the UCF Arena will begin at 7 p.m.

James Madison and Rhode Island are also participating in the two-day tournament and will square off at 9:30 p.m. The UCF Holiday Classic will conclude Friday with the championship at 7 p.m., followed by the consolation game at 9:30 p.m.

The Knights (8-3) are 6-0 at home this season and have won 17-straight non-league games at the UCF Arena. UCF has not lost to a non-Conference USA opponent at home under head coach Donnie Jones.

UCF is led by junior guard Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.), who is averaging 17.1 points and paces C-USA in minutes per game at 37.0, and junior forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.). Clanton is averaging 16.4 points and 9.4 rebounds. Both Clanton (960 points) and Jordan (911) are approaching the 1,000-point mark for their careers.

Stetson is 4-6 overall and is led by Chris Perez at 13.2 points per game. The Knights have won 11-straight games over the Hatters, who will be playing at UCF for the first time since 2006.

Tickets to Thursday's game will be available at the UCF Arena ticket office. Season ticket packages are still available by calling (407) UCF-1000. Tickets for the UCF-Stetson contest are also good for the James Madison-Rhode Island game.

The game will air on the UCF IMG Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will have the call from the arena. Live video and statistics are available at UCFAthletics.com.

Series History
? The Knights have a 22-15 edge in the all-time series with the Hatters and have won 11-straight games over Stetson
? The Hatters are UCF's second-most frequent opponent behind only Rollins, who the program has faced 41 times
? The teams met in DeLand a year ago and the Knights rolled to an 85-58 victory over the Hatters on Nov. 23, 2010
? UCF led by seven points at halftime and then outscored the hosts 53-33 after intermission
? Isaac Sosa hit six 3-pointers in the win and finished with 22 points
? Keith Clanton added 21 points and 11 boards and Marcus Jordan chipped in with 15 points and five assists for the Knights, who shot 52.3 percent overall, 50.0 percent from deep and 77.8 percent at the free-throw line
? UCF and Stetson have not met in Orlando since Nov. 18, 2006, when the Knights posted a 73-60 win at the UCF Arena
? The Hatters have not defeated UCF on the road since Jan. 17, 2001
? The programs will be meeting for the fourth time since UCF left the Atlantic Sun for Conference USA in 2005

Last Time Out
? UCF had its comeback attempt fall short on Dec. 21 as host Louisiana-Lafayette held on for a 61-60 victory over the Knights
? The Knights trailed by 13 points with 5:51 to play and were down nine points with 3:06 to go before getting within two points with 36 seconds on the clock
? After the Ragin' Cajuns hit a free throw, Marcus Jordan's 3-point attempt, which would have tied the contest, fell short with six seconds to go
? The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Knights
? Jordan led UCF with 17 points and Keith Clanton and Tristan Spurlock both added 13 points in the losing effort

Holiday Classic History
? This year's event is serving as the eighth UCF Holiday Classic as the tournament debuted in 2004 at the old UCF Arena
? The Knights are 11-3 all-time at the tournament and have won four tournament titles
? A year ago, UCF defeated Furman in the first round and then topped a Princeton squad that later played in the NCAA Tournament, 68-62, in the championship game

Home Dominance
? UCF has not lost a non-conference game at home under Donnie Jones
? The Knights are 17-0 at the UCF Arena against non-league opponents since the start of last season
? The team is 6-0 at home in 2011-12
? UCF has three remaining home non-league games this year
? The Knights have not suffered a non-conference loss at home since falling to Jacksonville on Dec. 30, 2009, in the UCF Holiday Classic championship game, and have won 17-straight non-league games in Orlando

UCF-Stetson Connections
? Former UCF assistant coach Dwight Evans is a member of the Stetson coaching staff
? He worked at UCF from 1992-94 and 2002-08
? Amara Thompson, who appeared in 20 games for the Knights from 2009-11, is playing at Stetson
? He made his Hatter debut against Charleston Southern on Dec. 21 and scored five points in nine minutes of action
? UCF's Keith Clanton and Stetson's Tyshawn Patterson were high school teammates at Orlando Christian Prep and helped the Warriors win Florida Class 1A state titles in both 2006-07 and 2007-08

No Streaking Allowed
? UCF has not lost two-consecutive games this season
? In their last contest, the Knights fell 61-60 at Louisiana-Lafayette on Dec. 21
? After losing at No. 24 Florida State on Nov. 14, UCF responded with a convincing win over High Point at home and following the team's loss to Harvard at the Battle 4 Atlantis, UCF blasted visiting Hartford

Major Minutes
? Marcus Jordan leads Conference USA in minutes per game at 37.0
? The junior has logged at least 35 minutes in all nine games played in 2011-12
? He has spent only 27 minutes on the bench this year
? Jordan averaged 31.5 minutes last season

A Milestone Within Sight
? Both Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan are approaching the 1,000-point mark for their careers
? Clanton has totaled 960 points as a Knight, while Jordan has scored 911 points
? Only nine players since UCF moved to the Division I ranks in 1984 have recorded over 1,000 points during their careers
? All-time, 14 Knights have hit the 1,000-point mark, with the last being Jermaine Taylor
? Taylor, who finished with a school D-I record 1,979 points, eclipsed the 1,000-point mark as a junior in 2007-08
? Clanton already ranks 10th on the UCF D-I career scoring chart

Up Next
? The Knights will meet either James Madison or Rhode Island to conclude the UCF Holiday Classic Friday
? UCF has never faced James Madison, and the Knights have a 1-0 edge in the all-time series with the Rams after picking up a win over Rhode Island last season in the postseason CBI