UCF to host Tulsa tonight, travel to Memphis on Saturday
Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 17:02
Back home and ready to return to its winning ways, UCF (9-11, 4-4) is set to host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (9-10, 4-4) tonight, a team that could pose more of a challenge than meets the eye.
Although they are just 2-7 away from their court, the Golden Hurricane carries momentum over from a last-second shot to seal the win over SMU, which proves that Tulsa should not be perceived as an easy opponent. Tulsa's senior forward, Chanice Scott, put the team on her back in Dallas. She led a come-from-behind run with nine points from the three-point line and took the last shot with 18 seconds left that gave Tulsa a huge lift on the road. She added five rebounds, three blocks and a steal. Tulsa has also kept games against superior teams very close. In November, the Golden Hurricane lost to BYU, a team that was ranked 23 in the Associated Press poll last week, by just four points.
What to watch
Tulsa and UCF rank side-by-side in field-goal efficiency. UCF has had its struggles on offense in the last two games, but the Golden Hurricane are not necessarily going to outshoot them. What the Knights must be wary of is their tendency to turn the ball over, especially in the last two losses, a statistic in which they rank the worst in the conference. Taleya Mayberry, Tulsa's junior guard and leading scorer, will be a point of emphasis for this UCF team on the defensive end.
Back to basics
Guards Gevenia Carter and Aisha Patrick have been held under 20 points in both losses. They will need to control the ball, drive the lane and look to set up their teammates if the shot is not there. Dominance on the defensive glass will be up to Erika Jones. UCF is at its finest when it outrebounds and outruns the opposition utilizing the speed of Carter. If the Knights can take away Tulsa's very limited scoring options and get back to their glass-hogging ways, they will be able to walk away with a very needed and attainable conference win.
"We talk about positive talk a lot, knowing what you're capable of doing, going out and working hard," Carter said. "Coaches give us a lot of different scenarios and situations to go out and execute different things. We work hard every day and try to push each other."
The Knights head to the FedEx Forum in Memphis on Saturday to test themselves against the Memphis Tigers (16-4, 6-1). The game will be televised on Sun Sports with tipoff from Memphis scheduled for 5 p.m.