March 8, 2010
TULSA, Okla. - Knights' guard Chelsie Wiley scored a team-best 19 points as eighth-seeded UCF defeated No. 9 seed Marshall, 59-57 in overtime, in the opening game of the 2010 GMC Sierra Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
With the win, UCF improves to 10-15 and advances to face regular-season C-USA Champion Tulane on Tuesday at noon. Marshall, meanwhile, concludes its season at 14-15. Monday's game between UCF and Marshall was the first-ever tournament-opening game to go into overtime.
Wiley was the lone UCF player to post a double-digit scoring total, but the bulk of her scoring came in the final 7:30 of the game. Down six with 2:43 to play in regulation, Wiley canned a pair of 3-pointers to send the game into overtime and hit 4-of-4 free throws late in overtime to help seal the Knights' victory.
With the score knotted at 47-all at the end of regulation and later at 53-53 with 1:00 left in overtime, Knights' post player Emma Cannon drilled a pair of free throws to give UCF a 55-53 lead with 42 seconds to go. From there, Wiley sandwiched a pair of perfect trips to the charity stripe around two made free throws by Marshall's Mystee Dale to put the game away.
UCF turned 17 first-half Marshall turnovers into a 27-17 lead at halftime, but the Herd came charging back in the second half. Down 10, the Thundering Herd scored six of the first seven points of the second half and eventually tied the game at 37-all with 8:31 left to play. Marshall led by as many as six points at 47-41 with 2:43 left to go in regulation but missed five free throws and a field goal the rest of the half to set up Wiley's 3-pointers which extended the ballgame.
D'Nay Daniels led UCF with 12 rebounds, while Aisha Patrick was close behind with 12. Angelica Mealing led all players with four assists, and Patrick tallied five of the Knights' 11 steals.
Marshall's Dale scored a game-high 21 points and Tynikki Crook posted the game's lone double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.