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Women's Hoops Set to Host Bearcats For Midweek Matchup

by Jenna VanHoose
Watch Game Notes Live Stats

ORLANDO - The Knights host Cincinnati on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. inside Addition Financial Arena.

The Rundown

  • This contest will mark the 25th meeting between the teams and the second matchup this season as the Knights travelled to Cincinnati on Jan. 10.

• Cincinnati is ranked No. 3 in the Big 12 for three-point defense (25.8) while Kaitlin Peterson averages 2.40 three-pointers per game.

• UCF boasts a 74.0 free throw percentage and is ranked third in the Big 12 as Cincinnati sits at 72.8.

• UCF and Cincinnati spent Thanksgiving break in the tropics as the Knights were in Puerto Rico and the Bearcats in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Scouting Cincinnati

• Cincinnati heads into the matchup with an 11-10 record and is 3-7 in the Big 12.

• The Bearcats head into the matchup following a 74-56 win over Texas Tech on Feb. 3.

• Head Coach Katrina Merriweather is in her 1st season season at Cincinnati, she spent the previous two seasons at Memphis.

• Jillian Hayes leads the Bearcats in points per game with 12.2. In the last matchup against UCF (1/10) she tallied 12 points.

• Hayes averages 8.3 rebounds per game, which ranks her for fifth in the Big 12.  

• As a team, the Bearcats are No. 2 in the Big 12 and 20th in the NCAA for offensive rebounds per game (15.0).

A Win Would…

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

• Improve their record to 12-9

• Give UCF its first win over Cincinnati as members of the Big 12

• Improve the all-time series to 14-11

• 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 20.6 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 10 conference games, Peterson is averaging 21.6 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 19 of UCF’s 20 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.

Spreading the Wealth

• UCF is 10-1 when it records more assists than its opponent.

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

• Laila Jewett has led the team in assists throughout 10 games this season and ranks 18th in the Big 12 with 3.3 assists per game.

• The Black and Gold average 11.9 assists per game.

8-0 Start

• The Knights raced out to an 8-0 start to kick off the 2023-24 season, marking the best start in program history.

• The Black and Gold made history with a 72-45 win over New Orleans on Dec. 11.

• Last season under first year head coach Sytia Messer, the Knights started out 6-0 marking the then second-best start since the 7-0 start in 1984. 

Taking Advantage of The Freebies

 • As a team, the Black and Gold are ranked third in the Big 12 with a free-throw percentage of 74.0.

 • In the matchup against Houston on Jan. 27, UCF recorded a season-high 33 free throws made.

• The Knights are averaging 19.40 free throw attempts per game.

• Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu went 14-15 from the free throw line against West Virginia (1/13) to mark a career-high in free throws made and attempted.