Conference play off to hot start with two wins
Published: Sunday, January 9, 2011
Updated: Sunday, January 9, 2011 20:01
Conference play has begun for the women's basketball team and they have gotten off to a hot start, winning their first two Conference USA games, the most recent a 67-43 win over Southern Miss Sunday at the UCF Arena.
C-USA play began last Thursday on the road against Rice (8-7, 0-1 C-USA), a game that the Knights (9-6, 2-0 C-USA) won 81-68 and gave head coach Joi Williams her 100th career win.
On Sunday, UCF hosted Southern Miss (6-9) for the conference home opener.
The Golden Eagles got off to a fast start. After UCF scored the first points of the game, Southern Miss went on a 10-2 run to take the lead.
The Knights responded with a 10-0 run of their own to take Southern Miss off their tracks for the remainder of the game.
With 14 points off turnovers, the Knights went into the locker room with a 39-22 lead at the break.
The Knights completed a dominating effort by playing tough defense and taking good shots. UCF held Southern Miss to 31.6 percent shooting from the field. UCF also had 32 points in the paint, 10 more than Southern Miss.
D'Nay Daniels had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jelisa Caldwell finished with 14 points.
This is the first season that the Knights have entered conference play with a winning record and after two wins against C-USA opponents, UCF is off to a hot start.
"It means a lot to get a win on the road and then come home and put away a good team, so hopefully we have some momentum going into the next game," Williams said.
With no sure favorite in C-USA, the conference is wide open. At 9-6, the Knights are near the top of the conference.
"It's exciting because our conference is wide open so we definitely want to be one of the teams in the end to compete for a championship," Williams said.
If they continue to play well in the paint and on defense, the Knights will have a shot in the C-USA tournament.
"We preach defense and rebounding. If we are going to be a team that contends for a conference championship we've got to make sure we get stops and rebound," Williams said.
UCF hosts UAB (8-6) on Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. and will be televised on Bright House Sports Network.