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January 2, 2013
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ORLANDO -- The "War on I-4" continues tonight in the UCF Arena as the Bulls travel to Orlando to take on the streaking UCF Knights.
UCF has won six of its last seven games and comes into the game with a 9-3 record.
The Bulls lost to UCF earlier at the SunDome 74-56 in the season opener for both teams. Since then, both the Knights and Bulls have improved.
South Florida comes into the game with a three-game winning streak and an 8-3 record.
In the last meeting between the two rivals, UCF dominated the boards with a 45-26 advantage. Isaiah Sykes had 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Knights.
The Bulls come into the game minus a few key players - losing JaVontae Hawkins (back) and Shaun Noriega (foot) from the lineup. Adding to that list of injured players for coach Stan Heath is the injury to Anthony Collins - taken to the hospital for tests after Saturday's 61-57 win over George Mason. Collins' injury was diagnosed as a neck sprain. Victor Rudd also suffered a concussion in Saturday's win.
Collins is not expected to play, but Rudd should be cleared to see action.
UCF is led by Keith Clanton, averaging 17 points a game and Sykes (14.8 PPG). The Bulls are led by Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (11.8 ppg, 6.3 rebounds per game), Rudd (11.1 ppg, 7.5 rebounds per game) and Jawanza Poland (10.5 ppg, 5.1 rebounds).
The Bulls have won six of their last seven games - with stellar defense - allowing an average of 60. 8 points a game - with only the three overtime win over Bowling Green (87-84) being the anomaly. Even in the 61-49 loss at Oklahoma State, defense was strong.
Tonight's game can be seen on CBS College Sports - with Dave Ryan and longtime coach Pete Gillen calling the action.