UCF (3-1) at Valparaiso (3-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 26, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Athletics-Recreation Center (5,432) -- Valparaiso, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: UCF 2-1, Valpo 3-0. Away Record: UCF 1-0, Valpo 0-3. Neutral Record: UCF 0-0, Valpo 0-0. Conference Record: UCF 0-0, Valpo 0-0. Series Record: Valparaiso leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The UCF Knights continue on their three-game road swing on Tuesday night when they head to Athletics-Recreation Center for a bout with the Valparaiso Crusaders.
UCF tipped off its road trip on Nov. 21 with a short journey south to take on Miami-Florida and came away with a 63-58 win. The Knights are 3-1 on the season and have posted back-to-back 20-win campaigns under head coach Donnie Jones.
Valpo had a three-game road trip of its own recently but came away with losses in all three bouts. Luckily for the Crusaders, they have been perfect in three tries on their home floor. They most recently took on James Madison at the ARC on Saturday and posted a dominating 81-49 victory.
Valparaiso leads the all-time series with UCF, 2-1. The teams had a home-and- home series during the 2008-09 season, with the home team winning each matchup. The squads will meet up again on Dec. 22 as well as part of the UCF Holiday Classic.
The Knights built a seven-point halftime lead over Miami the last time out and never surrendered that advantage after intermission, as they shot 44.1 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle (43-36) in the impressive road win. Calvin Newell's well-rounded effort lead the way, as he tallied 19 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals. Kasey Wilson netted 16 points, Isaiah Sykes added 11 points and Tristan Spurlock tallied a double- double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. On the season, the Knights are scoring a stellar 77.8 points per game on 45 percent field goal shooting, and they have made a habit of dominating opposing teams on the glass (+11.0 rebounding margin). Newell (18.8 ppg) is off to a fast start from the field (.588), but he could stand to improve at the foul line (12-of-22). Sykes (16.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg), Spurlock (12.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and Wilson (11.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg) are all strong in the paint.
The Crusaders were dominant on both ends of the floor in their latest contest, outshooting GMU from the field, 58 percent to 38.1 percent, as they cruised to the 32-point victory. Pacing four teammates in double figures was Jordan Coleman, who drained 6-of-7 from the field off the bench en route to 16 points. LaVonte Dority and Alec Peters poured in 15 points apiece, Lexus Williams logged 12 points and four steals, and Moussa Gueye manned the paint with 11 rebounds. Despite its .500 record, Valpo has outperformed its opponents across the board, as it's shooting nearly 51 percent from the field while owning a +12.4 scoring margin, although it has been plagued by more than 14 turnovers per game. Dority (15.7 ppg) and Peters (14.8 ppg) have both made greater than 44 percent of their 3-point attempts, while Coleman (14.0 ppg) is also off to a fast start.
UCF has the size advantage down low, which could cause the Crusaders fits, but Valpo has been playing so well at home that it should be able to feed off the energy in the building and continue its success from 3-point range to lift it to victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Valparaiso 75, UCF 71
11/26 10:34:19 ET