Knights to battle Blazers tonight
Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 17:01
The UCF Knights (6-8, 1-1) will finish their two-game road swing in Birmingham, Ala. tonight when they take on the UAB Blazers (11-3, 2-0).
The Knights came up short on their last game against the Tulane Green Wave in New Orleans, falling 64-52 on Sunday.
Now they face an even tougher challenge against the Blazers tonight. It is the third conference game for the defending Conference USA champions, but head coach Joi Williams has emphasized not viewing this season as a title-defense.
"We talk about it with the team in our locker room that we don't like that term ‘defending champions.' Of course, that's how everybody will describe us, but the past is the past," Williams said in a release. "All we talk about is trying to go and win another championship. We're not defending anything because nobody can ever take the banner or those rings away from us. So we're going out now to win one, and that's the mentality that we have to have."
Williams said in the beginning of the season that senior guard Aisha Patrick will take the team wherever it goes. Patrick has led the team averaging 14.9 points in 11 contests to this point.
Last game at Tulane, Patrick only managed to score 8 points, and the team as a whole was in a lot of foul trouble. Patrick did, however, score 28 points in the conference-opener against East Carolina.
Patrick is very close to her 1,000 point milestone at UCF. Only four points shy of the landmark achievement, Patrick could very well hit 1,000 points in Birmingham.
UAB has two key players who can score with ease. Karisma Chapman has averaged 14.4 points per game whereas Amber Jones has 14.2. Defensive consistency will be key for the Knights to score an important victory against the Blazers.
Tipoff is set for 8 p.m., and the game can be watched on the Knights' All-Access channel online.