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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 18, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UCF Arena (10,000) -- Orlando, Florida. Television: CBS Sports Network. Home Record: Miami 5-0, UCF 4-1. Away Record: Miami 1-1, UCF 2-1. Neutral Record: Miami 0-0, UCF 0-0. Conference Record: Miami 0-0, UCF 0-0. Series Record: Miami leads, 6-1.
GAME NOTES: The Miami-Florida Hurricanes will storm into Orlando for a Sunshine State showdown with the UCF Knights on Tuesday.
Jim Larranaga's Hurricanes completed a 77-46 rout of the previously unbeaten Charlotte 49ers on Friday to improve to 6-1 and tally their fifth win in a row. With the exception of its 67-59 decision over Michigan State, all of Miami's victories during the streak have been by double-digit margins. The Hurricanes' only setback of the season came early on when they were upset by Florida Gulf Coast (63-51) on the road in a game they played without Durand Scott.
UCF has taken care of business so far and is now 6-2 after taking down Old Dominion for a four-point road win on Friday. Donnie Jones's team is not eligible for postseason play and lost a few big-time contributors after the NCAA ruled its seniors could transfer out of the program without having to sit out a season. Aside from the Knights' season opening 18-point win at South Florida, their wins have been over clearly weaker competition. UCF was defeated at home by Middle Tennessee (75-61) and at Florida (79-66) before beginning its current three-game winning streak.
This will be the eighth meeting in history between these intrastate foes. Miami is 6-1 in its history versus UCF in the rivalry that dates back to the 1986-87 campaign. The Knights' won the most recent encounter on Dec. 18, 2010.
Miami is adept on both ends of the floor with a scoring offense average of 72.4 ppg and a scoring defense mark of 61.1 ppg. The Hurricanes never trailed against Charlotte on Saturday and held the 49ers to a season-low 46 points on 31.7 percent shooting. Scott scored 16 points, his fourth-straight game with 15 or more points, and grabbed 12 rebounds for his third-career double-double. Kenny Kadji netted a team-high 17 points. Sophomore sensation Shane Larkin was contributed nine points and five assists to mark the first occasion this season he was held in single-digits. Larkin and Scott are tied for the team's scoring lead with 15.3 points per game each. The 6-10, 292-pound Reggie Johnson has been a game changer due to his super sized presence and 12 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Trey McKinney Jones (11.7) and Kadji (11.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg) are both serviceable role players for Miami.
UCF is grabbing 6.5 more rebounds and scoring 8.1 more points than its opponents per contest this season. The Knights are converting 52.3 percent of their field-goal attempts including 44.1 percent from three-point range, but possessions have been limited by a 16.6 turnover per game average. Their 16 turnovers nearly cost them the contest their last time out, but the Knights outscored Old Dominion 19-12 at the foul line to stay in front. Oklahoma transfer Calvin Newell paced UCF with 17 points versus the Monarchs, which was just his second appearance in the black and gold uniform. Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year Keith Clanton netted 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor in just 25 minutes of action. Clanton is just under a double- double average with 17.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per outing. Isaiah Sykes is second on the team with 15.5 ppg, while Kasey Wilson and Tristan Spurlock are combining to average 23.4 points and 11.3 rebounds.
The addition of Newell to the lineup may give UCF a boost to fend off the Hurricanes, but the visitors are not going to go quietly. Clanton will need to get Johnson in foul trouble early to open up the middle for the Knights. Miami has a few more forwards who can hold their own in the paint, which should frustrate UCF into its second home loss of the season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Miami-Florida 75, UCF 64
12/18 10:32:22 ET
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