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Knights welcome struggling Hatters to UCF Dungeon

Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Updated: Sunday, February 15, 2009 19:02

Following a three-game road trip where the Knights faced two of the top teams in the Atlantic Sun, the UCF men's basketball team returns home Saturday to play rival Stetson at 12 p.m. The game will be televised on the Sunshine Network.

On their road trip the Knights picked up a win over Troy State but fell to Mercer 85-63 Monday night. Mercer is undefeated in the conference, as were the Trojans before UCF played them. The Hatters, however, are winless in the conference and have only won two games, a 75-69 decision over New Hampshire on Dec. 29 and a 73-68 win over Lipscomb on Monday night. The Hatters have been close in most of their A-Sun losses, including an overtime loss to Jacksonville State and a four-point game against Troy State.

The Hatters rank last in nine of the A-Sun's statistical categories, including scoring defense (81.9 points per game), scoring margin (-12.5), field goal percentage (38.4) and field goal percentage defense (53.1). Stetson takes care of the ball and knows how to force turnovers, as the Hatters lead the conference in turnover margin at plus-5.08.

Senior Alexis McMillan leads Stetson in scoring with 13.3 points a game and ranks first in the conference averaging four steals a game. Sophomore forward/center Mark Stiles is the only other Hatter to average double digits with 10.3 points a game.

The Knights return to the UCF Arena, where they hold a 5-1 record on the year. It will be the second time in as many home games that the Knights will be televised on the Sunshine Network. The last time was an 80-69 win over reigning A-Sun Champions Florida Atlantic on Jan. 4. UCF's offense tends to perform better at home, as the Knights have scored at least 80 points in half of their games at the arena.

Seniors Ray Abellard and Ed Dotson lead UCF. Abellard struggled to find his shot Monday against Mercer. He only scored five points on two-of-10 shooting with no three-pointers. Dotson led UCF with 16 points. The Knights will need Abellard to regain his shot in order to succeed in conference play.

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