Game #15: Flames Travel to Cleveland State for HL Road Opener Monday

Head coach Howard Moore
Head coach Howard Moore

Jan. 6, 2013

UIC at Cleveland State (Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Game #15: Flames Travel to Cleveland State for HL Road Opener
UIC Flames (10-4/1-0 HL) at Cleveland State Vikings (8-7/0-1 HL)

Monday, January 7, 2013 • Wolstein Center (Cleveland, Ohio) • 5:00 p.m. CST
Audio/Video: UIC Flames Radio Network ( Webcast)/Horizon League Network
Radio Talent: Justin Weiner (Play-by-Play)/Kenny Williams (Color Commentary)
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 25-50 (3rd season)
CSU Head Coach: Gary Waters • Record at CSU/Overall: 130-89 (7th season)/301-224 (17th season)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

The Last Meeting
Cleveland State70
February 5, 2012
Chicago, Ill. (UIC Pavilion)
First-Place Cleveland State Defeats Men's Basketball, 70-42
The Flames placed three starters in double figures, but visiting Cleveland State shot 63 percent in the second half, leading to a convincing 70-42 win over the UIC men's basketball team in a Horizon League game at the UIC Pavilion Sunday afternoon.

#4 Gary Talton • PG
The Flames' leading scorer and third-leading rebounder. Ranks third in the Horizon League in both assists and assist/turnover ratio (2.5) and paces the League in steals per game (1.7). Poured in a game-high 19 points and handed out six assists against just one turnover versus Youngstown State. Member of the 2012 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.

#1 Daniel Barnes • SG
The Flames' second-leading scorer. Has drilled a Horizon League second-best 40 three-point field goals, an average of 2.9 threes per game. Ranks 10th on UIC's all-time three-point field goals list (109). Passed the 500-career point plateau against Youngstown State (502). Averaged a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season.

#10 Marc Brown • SF/W
Has started all 14 games this season, and played at least 30 minutes in seven contests. The Flames' best perimeter defender. Shooting 80.0 percent (28-35) from the free throw line. Has pulled down a combined 14 rebounds in the past two games. Scored exactly 200 points in freshman season, starting 27 contests.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
The Flames' leading rebounder and third-leading scorer. Shooting 47.7 percent (61-128) from the field, and a team-best 41.7 percent (25-60) from three. Has led the Flames in scoring five times, and been the leading rebounder on six occasions. Enters Monday's game with 250 career rebounds in a UIC uniform. UIC's career active leader in both rebounds and blocks.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
Has posted double-digit scoring efforts in eight-of the last 11 games. Enters Monday's game as UIC's second-leading rebounder and fourth-leading scorer. Averaging 2.8 assists per game, second-most on the team. Playing 27.2 mpg this season after averaging just 14.1 mpg in his previous three seasons of Division I basketball. Transferred to UIC from UCF in September.

Series Information: Cleveland State leads 39-32
Cleveland State leads the all-time series against UIC, 39-32. Overall, CSU has captured 10-straight victories over the Flames, dating back to the 2008-09 campaign. The series began in the 1981-82 season, with Cleveland State winning both regular season meetings by a combined seven points. The Flames then rolled off five-straight wins, and also defeated the Vikings seven-consecutive times from 1996-99.

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team (10-4, 1-0 Horizon) will look to improve to 2-0 in Horizon League play for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign Monday, when the Flames challenge Cleveland State (8-7, 0-1 HL) at the Wolstein Center beginning at 5:00 p.m. CST. UIC will be eyeing its first road win over the Vikings since the 2006-07 season.

Back on the Horizon
UIC began its 12th season of Horizon League play last Wednesday - the Flames have compiled a record of 80-107 (.428) in League games over that span, achieving winning records in both the 2002-03 (12-4) and 2003-04 (12-4) seasons. UIC's best regular season Horizon League finish was in 2003-04, when the Flames finished second, one game behind first-place Milwaukee. The Flames went on to capture the 2004 Horizon League Tournament Championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament. UIC will look to break a four-year streak of losing records in Horizon League play this season. Prior to becoming a full-time member of the League, UIC served membership stints in the MCC (1994-2001) and Mid-Continent Conference (1982-94).

Key Match-Up
Between the primary ball handlers in the backcourt. Monday's game will feature two-of the Horizon League's top point guards in UIC's Gary Taltonand Cleveland State's Charlie Lee. Talton has handed out 67 assists (4.8 apg) on the season, second-best in the League, while Lee has dished out 71 helpers (4.7 apg) to rank third overall. As mentioned, Talton's 2.5 assist/turnover ratio ranks third in the Horizon League.

Talton enters Monday's contest ranked eighth in the League in scoring (12.6 ppg), while Lee's 12.3 points per game rank 10th. Lee has converted 27 three-pointers on the season, and is shooting 44.3 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

Last Time Out: Flames Open HL Play with 65-60 Win over YSU
Senior point guard Gary Taltonscored a game-high 19 points, including eight in the final 2:33, leading the UIC men's basketball team to a 65-60 win over Youngstown State in the Horizon League opener for both teams last Monday at the Pavilion. UIC held the Penguins to just a 37.0 percent output from the field, improving to 6-0 at home on the season.

Talton's 19 points came on seven field goals -he also handed out six assists against just one turnover, and pulled down four rebounds. Junior forward Hayden Humes added 15 points and seven rebounds, and senior center Josh Crittle chipped in 14 points to go along with seven boards. Senior guard Daniel Barnescontributed 10 points and seven rebounds. YSU was led by Kendrick Perry, who poured in 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting.

UIC posted a 42-33 advantage on the boards and dished out 16 team assists (23 field goals) for the second-straight game. The Flames scored 19 points off turnovers in a game that featured a combined 27 ties and lead changes.

2012-13 Season Snapshot
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is averaging a team-high 12.6 points per game, with a total of 177 points on the season. He is also the team leader in steals (24), free throws made (49) and free throw percentage (.860).
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 12.5 points per game - he is shooting 41.7 percent from the floor and 40.8 percent from three-point range. Barnes is also averaging 4.1 rebounds per game, fourth-most on the team.
• To go along with his 11.6 points per contest, junior forward Hayden Humes is averaging a team-high 5.9 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 47.7 percent from the field and a team-best 41.7 percent from three-point range. Humes passed the 400 career-point plateau in a UIC uniform last Wednesday against Youngstown State (410).
• Talton (12.6 ppg; 8th), Barnes (12.5; 9th) and Humes (11.6; 15th) all rank in the Horizon League's top-15 in scoring.
• Talton, Barnes, Humes, sophomore forward Marc Brown and senior center Josh Crittle have each started all 14 games for the Flames this season. That group is currently occupying 77.2 percent of UIC's total minutes played.
• UIC enters Monday's game against Cleveland State leading the Horizon League in defensive field goal percentage (.382) while ranking second in scoring defense (57.3 ppg), free throw percentage (.750), three-point field goal percentage (.357), three-point field goal defense (.291) and three-point field goals made per game (7.6).
• UIC returns four starters (Talton, Barnes, Brown, Humes) from the 2011-12 team, including four-of its top five scorers. Overall, the Flames brought back 65 percent of their scoring from last season.
• During the 2012-13 season, UIC will play at least 14 games this season against teams that made appearances in the 2012 postseason, including four NCAA Tournament foes. The Flames are 2-1 this season against 2012 NCAA Tournament foes.
• UIC was picked to finish eighth in the nine-team preseason Horizon League poll, conducted by the League's coaches, media and sports information directors.

Scouting the Vikings
Cleveland State is 8-7 on the season - the Vikings started out the campaign 6-2, but have dropped four-of their last six. In last Friday's Horizon League opener against League favorite Valparaiso, the Vikings dropped a 74-50 decision at the ARC. Point guard Charlie Lee is averaging 12.3 points per game to lead CSU's offensive attack. Bryn Forbes has chipped in 9.9 points per contest, while senior Tim Kamczyc has contributed 9.3 points per game. Leading scorer Anton Grady (13.7 ppg) has been sidelined since early December with a knee (meniscus) injury. The Vikings are coached by former Kent State and Rutgers mentor Gary Waters, who is in his seventh year at the helm.

CSU ranks in the top-five of the Horizon League in field goal percentage (.435), three-point field goal percentage (.343), steals (8.1) and turnover margin (+2.4).

UIC-CSU: Revisiting the 2011-12 Season
Cleveland State recorded a pair of convincing double-digit wins over UIC last season, defeating the Flames 73-56 at the Wolstein Center (1/5/12) and 70-42 at the UIC Pavilion (2/5/12).

The Vikings jumped out to an early double-digit lead at home on Jan. 5, and UIC was held without a double-digit scorer - Hayden Humesscored a team-high eight points to lead the Flames' scoring output. CSU placed four players in double figures, led by Jeremy Montgomery's 14 points, which was fueled by four three-pointers.

In the return game at the Pavilion, Cleveland State shot 63 percent in the second half, turning a seven-point (24-17) halftime lead into a 31-point advantage late in the game.

For the season series, graduated senior Darrin Williamsand Humes averaged 9.5 points per game. CSU's Jeremy Montgomery averaged 14.0 points per game, and was joined in double figures by D'Aundary Brown (13.0 ppg), Trevon Harmon (13.0) and Anton Grady (12.5).

On the Road Again
Against Cleveland State, UIC will look to snap a regular season Horizon League road losing streak that dates back to the 2008-09 season. The last time UIC won a Horizon League regular season road game was on Feb. 27, 2009 against rival Loyola. The losing streak spans a total of 27 games, but seven of those contests have been decided by five points or less, including three last season.

Football Holiday Tradition?
For the second-consecutive year, UIC and Cleveland State will be playing a Horizon League basketball game on the same night as a very significant football game. Monday's contest will precede the BCS National Championship game between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama. Last season, when the Vikings visited the Windy City (2/5/12), the game was played prior to the Super Bowl between the New York Giants and New England Patriots.

What's Trending?
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes, who is slated to play his 50th career game Monday, has scored in double figures in 10-of the past 11 games - he chipped in 10 points against Youngstown State last Wednesday. Over the past 11 games, Barnes is averaging 13.4 points per contest, including five games with 14 or more points. He has also drilled at least four three-pointers in four-of the last six contests.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has handed out at least four assists in nine games, and dished out three or more helpers 13-of-14 contests. In home games, the Dallas native is averaging 5.8 assists per contest, bolstered by three games with seven or more helpers.
• Dating back to last season, Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 17-of the last 21 contests.
• In the past four games, senior center Josh Crittle has scored 44 points (11.0 ppg) and dished out 14 assists (3.5 apg) against just three combined turnovers.
• Junior forward Hayden Humes has scored in double figures in each of the past three games after being limited to single-digit scoring performances in the previous three contests for the first time in his career. Humes has collected 22 double-digit scoring efforts over the past two seasons.
• Sophomore guard Joey Miller is giving head coach Howard Moore productive minutes off the bench. In the past four games, Miller has played a combined 93 minutes (23.3 mpg) and scored a total of 32 points (8.0 ppg). Miller enters Monday's game averaging 5.4 points per game in an average of 17.5 minutes per contest on the season.
• Sophomore wing Marc Brownhas pulled down a combined 14 rebounds (7.0 rpg), including seven offensive boards in the past two games.

The Flames' Rotation
UIC's regular rotation includes seven players that occupy 93 percent of the Flames' total minutes played.
• Junior forward Hayden Humes is playing a team-high 34.2 minutes per game. He has started the last 39 games, dating back to the 2011-12 campaign. Humes leads the team in both field goals (61) and is second in three-point field goals (25). He has led the Flames in scoring five times this season, and also been the top rebounder in six contests. During his Division I career, Humes (who started his career at Toledo) has scored 593 points and pulled down 414 rebounds.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has played 474 total minutes (33.9 mpg) this season. He has dished out 67 assists against 27 turnovers, and leads the team in scoring (12.6 ppg) for the second-consecutive season. Talton has led the Flames in assists in 13-of-14 games, and paced the team in scoring on four occasions.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is averaging 31.0 minutes per game. The Oak Park, Ill., native leads the team three-point field goals (40) and has pulled down 57 rebounds on the season. Barnes poured in a career-high 30 points against Eastern Michigan (12/15/12) and has converted a career-high six three-pointers twice this season.
• Sophomore wing Marc Brown, the Flames' defensive stopper, has played a total of 394 minutes (28.1 mpg) this season. Brown often draws the defensive assignment on the opposing team's most talented perimeter player. Offensively, he has scored 279 career points in a total of 41 career starts.
• Senior center Josh Crittle is averaging 27.2 minutes per game. He is shooting nearly 42 percent (.418) from the field and ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.2 rpg), including 1.7 offensive boards per game. The UCF transfer has great vision for a big man - Crittle has dished out 39 assists on the season, and recorded seven games with at least three helpers.
• Sophomore guard Joey Miller, a first-year transfer from Eastern Illinois, has played a total of 245 minutes (17.5 mpg). Miller, who can play both guard positions, has posted three double-digit scoring outputs on the season, and played at least 20 minutes in six games.
• Sophomore Will Simontonmay be the Flames' most improved player from a year ago. The 6-foot-10 center played in 20 games off the bench last season, shooting less than 20 percent (.190) from the field in an average of just 6.1 minutes per game. This season, as the Flames' primary sixth man, Simonton has seen action in all 14 games, averaging 14.1 minutes per contest. He is shooting a team-best 50.0 percent (18-36) from the floor.

Dishin' It Out
UIC is averaging 13.5 assists per game this season, an improvement of more than two helpers per game from the 2011-12 campaign (11.4). While the effort has been largely spearheaded by senior point guard Gary Talton's 67 assists, he has enjoyed considerable help from his teammates. Senior center Josh Crittle has dished out 35 assists on the season, while junior forward Hayden Humeshas handed out 22 helpers. Despite dropping two-of the last three games, UIC has still posted three-best team assist performances of the season in those contests (15 at Miami University, 16 at Toledo, 16 vs. Youngstown State).

Gettin' Defensive
UIC is on its way to enjoying its most successful team defensive season in program history. The Flames have held seven opponents under 35 percent shooting (nine under 40 percent) - UIC has also limited six opponents to fewer than 50 points for the first time in more than 60 years (1949-50).

On Nov. 17 against Mercer, the Flames held the Bears to just 36 total points, the fewest for an opponent since the 1959-60 season, and against Roosevelt, UIC limited the Lakers to just 12 first-half points, which set a new UIC Pavilion record.

More on the Defense
The numbers bear it - when UIC is defending to the level that it is capable of, the Flames are a difficult team to beat. Two of the more notable statistics are opponent's points per game and defensive field goal percentage. When UIC allows its opponent to score 70 or more points, the Flames are just 1-3 on the season. In contrast, when the Flames hold the opposition between 30 and 39 percent from the field, UIC is a flawless 8-0.

Danny ... For 3!
Over the past two years, senior guard Daniel Barnes has shown an ability to score in bunches from beyond the three-point arc. In 49 games played, Barnes has drilled 109 three-pointers, an average of 2.3 threes per game. With just seven more three-point field goals, Barnes would tie Aaron Carr(2000-04) for ninth on the all-time three-point field goals made list. Barnes, who has converted at least four three-pointers in five games this season, is on pace to wrap up his senior season with at least 158 career three-pointers, which would rank seventh all-time at UIC.

Collective Efficiency from Beyond the Arc
As mentioned, UIC is one of the Horizon League's most efficient three-point shooting teams. Entering Monday's game against Cleveland State, the Flames are ranked second in the League in three-point field goal percentage (.357) and three-point field goals made (106). The success from distance has been a collective effort - junior forward Hayden Humes (.417; 7th), sophomore guard Joey Miller (.412; 8th) and senior guard Daniel Barnes(.408; 9th) all rank in the top-10 of the Horizon League in three-point field goal percentage. Additionally, Barnes (40; 2nd) and Humes (25; 8th) both enter Monday's game ranked in the top-10 of the League in three-point field goals made.

New Kids on the Block
• UIC has nine new players on the 2012-13 roster, including five freshmen (two walk-ons), two sophomores and two seniors.
• Three of the newcomers have Division I experience: Josh Crittle (UCF), Joey Miller (Eastern Illinois) and Kelsey Barlow (Purdue). Barlow will sit out the entire 2012-13 season satisfying NCAA transfer rules. Crittle and Miller were both given immediate eligibility with the Flames.
Matt Gorski, Gabe Snider and Jake Wiegand are true freshmen, as are walk-ons Ngijol Songolo and Austin Angel.
Joey Miller and Jay Parker are sophomore eligible.
• Head coach Howard Moore's 2012-13 class was ranked at the "Head of the Class" by USA Today in the publication's season preview and "Rating the Recruiting" section.