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Women's Hoops Hosts BYU for Think Pink Game

by Jenna VanHoose
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ORLANDO - The Knights are set to host BYU on Wednesday, Feb 13, for their annual Think Pink game. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. inside Addition Financial Arena.

The Rundown

 • This contest will mark the first meeting between the teams, as the Cougars and Knights joined the Big 12 Conference on July 1, 2023.

• The Cougars lead the conference with a 38.4 three-point percentage, which ranks No. 9 in the NCAA. UCF has limited its opponents to a 29.4 clip in three-point percentage defense.

• The Knights average 14.86 free throws per game, while BYU has committed 17.5 fouls per game.

• UCF and BYU each played in the tropics earlier this season, as the Knights played in the Discover Puerto Rico Classic in San Juan and the Cougars competed in the North Shore Showcase in Laie, Hawaii.

Scouting BYU

• BYU heads into the matchup with a 14-11 record and a 4-8 mark in the Big 12.

• The Cougars are on a two-game winning streak, earning their first top-25 win against No. 18 Baylor (78-66) on Feb. 7 and first Big 12 road win on Feb. 10 at Cincinnati (69-57).

• Head coach Amber Whiting is in her second season at BYU and holds a 30-28 record as head coach.

• BYU has a trio of players who average double digits in scoring with Lauren Gustin leading the pack with 16.2, Kailey Woolston tallying 14.4 and Amari Whiting adding 10.8 points per game.  

• Gustin is averaging a double-double with 15.4 rebounds per game and leads the nation in double-doubles this season with 23.

• As a team, the Cougars are third in the Big 12 and 17th in the NCAA for defensive rebounds per game (29.4).

• Gustin (player) and Whiting (freshman) swept the Big 12 women's basketball weekly awards, following a week where the Cougars picked up a pair of wins, including the program's first AP Top 25 win of the season.

A Win Would…

• Give the Knights their fourth win in Big 12 conference play

• Give the Knights their ninth win at home this season

• Give UCF its first win over BYU in program history

• Be better than a loss

Rising to the Top

• Junior Kaitlin Peterson is having a stellar debut season for the Knights, as she is second in the Big 12 with 20.3 points per game. 

• The Eufaula, Alabama, native tallied 32 points against Baylor on Jan. 20 to mark her fourth game this season with 30 or more points, which leads the Big 12. 

• In UCF’s 12 conference games, Peterson is averaging 20.9 points per game to lead the league. She set a career high with 35 points at Cincinnati on Jan. 10.

• Peterson started her UCF career with 31 points in the Knights’ 101-63 victory against Bethune-Cookman, which was a career high at the time. She was 6-10 from beyond the arc and 12-19 from the field, adding in one free throw.

• She’s scored double digits in 21 of UCF’s 22 games this season and has reached 20 points on 11 occasions. 

Double-Double Duo

• A pair of double-doubles from Khyala Ngodu and Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu lifted the Knights to a 92-87 win over Houston on Jan. 27.

• The frontcourt duo combined for 20 of UCF’s 44 first-half points.

• Ngodu recorded a career-high 25 points, grabbing 12 rebounds for her first double-double of the season and the first of her career. She also had three blocks and tallied one steal.

• Robinson-Nwagwu added 12 points, pulling down 10 rebounds for the first double-double of her career. She also had a game-high five assists for the Knights.

• The pair became the first UCF duo since Taylor Gibson and Destiny Thomas to record two double-doubles in one game. Gibson and Thomas achieved the accomplishment on Nov. 27, 2022, against SEMO.

50 = Magic Number

• The Black and Gold are 4-0 when limiting their opponent to 50 points or less.

• From Nov. 24 through Dec. 19, the Knights held five of their seven opponents to less than 50 points.

• UCF held Campbell (Dec. 3) and Morgan State (Dec. 19) to just 41 points marking the fewest points against an opponent this season.

Déjà Vu

• Kaitlin Peterson recorded back-to-back 20-plus point games on Jan. 3 and 6, tallying 22 points in both games against Oklahoma State and Kansas State.

• Peterson’s achievement marked the first time a UCF player has recorded consecutive 20-point games since the 2021-22 season when Diamond Battles scored 21 points in back-to-back games on Jan. 22 and 26.

Back in the Big 12

 • Sytia Messer and Mike Carey have spent a significant portion of their coaching career in the Big 12.

 • Coach Messer spent seven years in Waco as an assistant coach at Baylor and Carey is a veteran in the Big 12, where he was head coach at West Virginia for 21 years, spending 10 of those in the Big 12.

 • The Knights are the only coaching staff in the Big 12 to have a previous head coach and assistant coach with Big 12 experience.

Spreading the Wealth

• UCF is 10-2 when it records more assists than its opponent.

• Nine Knights have led UCF in assists in at least one game this season.

• Laila Jewett has led the team in assists throughout 11 games this season and ranks 17th in the Big 12 with 3.2 assists per game.

• The Black and Gold average 11.6 assists per game.

Crashing the Boards

• Freshman Khyala Ngodu leads the team in conference play with 6.8 rebounds per game, which ranks ninth in the conference.

• Ngodu has tallied 11 games with five-plus rebounds.

• The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native earned her first start with the Knights on Jan. 13 against West Virginia.

• She earned her first double-double with a career-high 25 points and 12 rebounds in the Black and Gold’s first Big 12 win against Houston (Jan. 27).