Seniors take home floor one last time
Storied senior class, with two Conference USA titles its name already, looks to embark on one more M
Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 1, 2012 10:03
Patrick looks to end storied career on strong note
Two championships in three years, countless game-changing moments and accolades — senior guard Aisha Patrick has become a staple in UCF women's basketball history.
On Thursday, Patrick will take the court at the UCF Arena for one last regular-season home game.
Patrick, a Rockledge native, was named the most valuable player as a junior and senior during her tenure at Rockledge High School and was the district player of the year as a senior when she averaged 19 points, 9.5 rebounds and 6.2 steals per game.
In her four years at UCF, Patrick started every game that she played. She hasn't missed a game during her senior year, and she leads the team in minutes per game, points per game and free-throw percentage (minimum of 50 attempts).
"As far as physical toughness, you only get one senior year, you only get four years of college ball, so you have to have a short memory as far as injuries are concerned," Patrick said. "You just have to keep fighting and trust that the coaches will help you through it."
Patrick has etched her name in UCF Athletics' history by being the leader of a two-time championship team, but she also has a few personal records to prove she belongs among the ranks of UCF's best. On Jan. 12, in a loss to UAB, Patrick became the 15th Knights student-athlete to score 1,000 career points and broke into the career top-10 scorers in school history.
This came from a player who originally was thought of as more of a lockdown defender.
"My freshman year I was more of a defensive thing, stop their best player," Patrick said. "My sophomore year, after proving I could play defense, I had to show I had an offensive game. My junior year, I had to be a point guard. Now, my senior year, I have to be a leader and guide my team."
Going into her last regular-season game against Conference USA opponent Marshall (15-13, 6-9), Patrick expects it will be an emotional experience but understands the importance of getting a win prior to the conference tournament that is full of opportunity.
"It's going to be important for us to build some confidence going into the tournament, but it's also important that the fans see us do well and get us excited and feeling good," Patrick said.
As for Patrick's thoughts on her time at UCF?
"It's been wonderful. Won two championships, [and I've been] able to go to the NCAA tournament twice with great coaches behind me."
Kelly remembers strong NCAA Tournament performance, has no regrets
Seventeen hours from her native-Longview, Texas home, senior forward Ashia Kelly has taken advantage of the time she has seen on the court during her years at UCF.
Specifically, she remembers the first round of the NCAA tournament a year ago, when she scored a game-high 16 points against Ohio State and grabbed six rebounds.
"My best moment was the NCAA tournament last year," Kelly said. "I was more of a role player, but coming into the last part of my junior year I was shooting well, played well and was able to really help my team."
Kelly's career at UCF, one that has seen two C-USA Championships, has been one she looks back fondly upon.
"It's been really, really enjoyable. I have no regrets on the choice I made to come to UCF," Kelly said. "It's been a good ride, and I've loved every bit of it. It's been a tremendous experience, and I hope the rest of my teammates have the chance to get another championship the way that I did."
Davis recognizes significance of accomplishments, provides inside presence off the bench
Senior forward Racine Davis recorded a career-high nine rebounds against Houston this past Sunday, a timely achievement for the senior who is nearing the start of a new chapter in her life after being part of the most successful senior class in UCF women's basketball history.
"[It's] definitely been memorable. … Two banners in [three] years is not a feat many college athletes can say [they achieved]," Davis said.
While attending Plantation High School, Davis averaged a double-double as a junior with 10 points and 12 rebounds per game. This season, Davis averaged 2.7 rebounds per contest, helping the Knights on the boards.
Davis plans on pursuing her Master of Arts here at UCF.