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Women's Hoops Welcomes Iowa State On Saturday

by Jenna VanHoose
Watch Live Stats Game Notes

ORLANDO - UCF women's basketball is set to host Iowa State for the first time in program history as the two teams are scheduled to tip-off Saturday, Feb. 3 at noon inside Addition Financial Arena. 

The Rundown

  • This contest will mark the first meeting between the teams.

• Iowa State has the second highest field goal percentage in the Big 12 at 46.7 while the Knights sit at No. 12 with 41.1.  

• UCF boasts a 74.2 free throw percentage to be ranked third in the Big 12 as Iowa State sit at 71.8.

• Iowa State is 2nd in the Big 12 averaging 8.7 three pointers per game whereas the Black and Gold average 4.9.

Scouting Iowa State

• Iowa State heads into the matchup with a 13-7 record and is 7-3 in the Big 12.

• The Cyclones head into the matchup following a 78-67 win over Oklahoma State on Jan. 31.

• Head Coach Bill Fennelly is in his 29th season at Iowa State, while his son Billy Fennelly is in his 12th season as assistant coach.

• Iowa State has two players who are averaging double digits in scoring Audi Crooks leads the team with 18.0 points per game and Addy Brown adds 13.4.

• Brown averages 8.8 rebounds per game, which ranks her for third in the Big 12.  

• As a team, the Cyclones are No. 1 in the Big 12 and 8th in the NCAA for defensive rebounds per game (31.4).

A Win Would…

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

• Improve their record to 11-9

• Give UCF its first win over Iowa State

• Give Sytia Messer her 25th win at UCF

• Be better than a loss

Rising to the Top

• Junior Kaitlin Peterson is having a stellar debut season for the Knights, as she is first in the Big 12 with 21.1 points per game. 

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

• In UCF’s eight conference games, Peterson is averaging 24.0 points per game to lead the league. She set a career high with 35 points at Cincinnati on Jan. 10.

• Kaitlin Peterson set yet another career-high in scoring with 35 points at Cincinnati (1/10).

• 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 18 of UCF’s 19 games this season and has reached 20 points on 10 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 block.

• 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 (12/3) and Morgan State (12/19) to just 41 points marking the lowest 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.

New Year, New Addition

• The Knights received a late present with the addition of transfer Femi Funeus on Jan. 9.

• Funeus, a 6-2 forward, has competed in 58 games, spending three years at Seton Hall and one year at Southern Mississippi.

• A native of Plantation, Florida, Funeus was tabbed to the Big East All-Academic team all three years at Seton Hall.

• Out of high school, she was one of the top-ranked players in the state of Florida.

Last Time Out

• UCF dropped an 84-43 decision to No. 23 West Virginia inside the WVU Coliseum.

 • Kaitlin Peterson continued to lead the Knights recording 13 points on the night. Mya Burns and Khyala Ngodu each chipped in five rebounds. Jayla Kelly, Asia Todd and Femi Funeus each tallied six points.

• The first quarter proved to be a tough opening for the Knights (10-9, 1-8 Big 12) as they managed only four points while committing nine turnovers. West Virginia (18-2, 7-2 Big 12) capitalized on UCF’s struggles, gaining an early advantage, 18-4.
• The Mountaineers’ defense held the Knights to nine points in the second quarter. The Black and Gold faced a scoring drought in the last 3:12 of the quarter to allow West Virginia to extend its lead, 39-13.

•Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu led the Knights off with a layup to start the third quarter. Peterson followed up with back-to-back three-pointers. The Knights tallied 18 points in the third although West Virginia continued to hold a 62-31 edge heading into the fourth. 

• The Black and Gold scored 12 points in the fourth for a final tally of 84-43.

Spreading the Wealth

• UCF is 9-1 when it records more assists than its opponent.

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

• Laila Jewett has led the team in assists throughout 10 games this season and ranks 17th in the Big 12 with 3.3 assists per game.

• The Black and Gold average 11.7 assists per game.