Daniels, Knights look to mine away UTEP
Published: Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 17:02
As the end of the regular season nears, the seniors are starting to sense that their UCF careers are coming to an end. Games become bigger. Halves become bigger. Possessions become bigger.
For senior D'nay Daniels, it's all about never letting it creep into her mind.
"I don't think about it," said Daniels, the guard averaging 14.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. "I'm going to keep going 100 mph until someone runs a truck into me, and stops me."
Daniels leads the Knights into their next home game on Thursday against UTEP, looking to keep pace atop the conference standing with a win. The Knights (12-10, 5-4) currently sit fifth in Conference USA standings and would like to keep distance between themselves and UTEP (12-9, 4-5), who sit in seventh.
UTEP is 2-5 on the road and is averaging 61.9 points per game for the season. Meanwhile, UCF has been a force at home, posting an 8-2 record with an average margin of victory of 27 points. The Knights are averaging 67.9 points per game for the season.
Gloria Brown and Dietra Caldwell lead UTEP in scoring with 11.5 points per game and 10 points per game, respectively. Brown comes off the bench in most games, so the Knights won't be able to take it easy when the second team comes in for the Miners.
Daniels leads the Knights in scoring but is followed closely by senior guard Chelsie Wiley, who averages 14 points a game. Junior guard Aisha Patrick (10.3) and senior guard Jelisa Caldwell (10) round out the double digit scorers for UCF.
The Knights will be without one senior leader on the court. Angelica ‘Jelly' Mealing, who has missed three of the Knights' last five contests, will undergo surgery following the season to repair an injured knee and will not return to the lineup in the meantime.
"Jelly has shown tremendous growth over the four years she's been with us and is very valuable to our basketball team," said Williams in a release. "We will miss her presence on the court but she is committed to being there to encourage and support us down the stretch."
Mealing completed her career with 327 career assists, ranking fourth all-time in program history, while finishing 11th in steals with 140. As a sophomore, she helped UCF win the 2009 C-USA Tournament, scoring 10 points and adding four assists in the title game against Southern Miss.
Thursday's game tips off at 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted on 1140 AM from the UCF Arena. Fans can also watch and listen through the UCF Athletics website. After Thursday's contest, UCF will travel Sunday to Huntington, W.V., to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd at 2 p.m.