Liberty (6-6) at U-C-F (7-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 29th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: New UCF Arena (10,000) -- Orlando, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: Liberty 4-3, UCF 5-0. Away Record: Liberty 0-3, UCF 0-3. Neutral Record: Liberty 2-0, UCF 2-1. Conference Record: Liberty 1-1, UCF 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The second game of the UCF Holiday Classic tonight will feature the host Knights versus the Liberty Flames. The victor of this bout will play for the title on Wednesday against either Buffalo or Jacksonville.
After a fast start to the season, the Knights have fallen into a bit of a rut of late, losing two straight and three of their past four outings. The team was last in action on December 20th, when it dropped a 60-51 decision at nationally-ranked Connecticut. Now at 7-4 overall, UCF heads into its own Holiday Classic tourney, an event it has won the last three seasons.
Due to inclement weather, Liberty had its last game against Houghton canceled, so the team has been out of play for two weeks now. The last time the Flames did take the court, they scored a 70-45 win over Shawnee State on December 15th. It marked the second win in a row and the fifth in six games for Liberty, which has pulled to a level 6-6 overall.
Liberty and UCF have split two prior encounters on the hardwood, with the Knights notching an 86-79 win in the most recent clash in 1990.
The Flames have done a good job slowing down opponents this season, as they are limiting foes to 63.7 ppg and just 39.3 percent shooting from the floor. Offensively, the team is paced by Kyle Ohman, who is averaging 13.9 ppg and 2.3 apg. Ohman had just five points in the team's last game, but Liberty once again used tough defense to down Shawnee State. The Flames gave up just 45 points in the bout, while holding Shawnee State to a dismal 28.6 percent shooting performance from the floor.
The Knights are making good on 45.4 percent of their attempts from the floor and 72.0 percent at the foul line, helping them to a scoring average of 68.0 ppg. Isaac Sosa is the team's leading scorer at 12.0 ppg and he is shooting 50.0 percent from long range. A.J. Tyler nips at his heels with 11.2 ppg and he is also pulling in 4.4 rpg. In the team's last game, Sosa and Tyler combined for 19 points, but UCF came up short in a 60-51 loss at UConn. The Knights shot only 34.9 percent from the floor, including a poor 2-of-14 showing from three-point distance.
UCF has been at its best at home and behind the support of its fans, expect the Knights to clip the Flames tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCF 66, Liberty 58
12/29 10:38:10 ET