Jan. 13, 2012
► UIC will look to capture its sixth home win of the season Saturday, when the Flames host cross-town rival Loyola at the UIC Pavilion beginning at 3 p.m. CST. The Flames are coming off a 71-50 loss at Youngstown State last Saturday, while Loyola dropped a 69-48 decision at Cleveland State.
► UIC has held each of its past three visiting opponents to under 40 percent shooting. That stretch includes back-to-back wins over Western Illinois (Dec. 19) and Detroit (Dec. 29), and an overtime setback against Wright State (Dec. 31).
► The Flames will be seeking their 30th all-time victory over the Ramblers Saturday afternoon; 16 of those wins have taken place at the Pavilion.
► Loyola swept the regular season series between the Flames and Ramblers last season, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Courtney Stanley that secured a 67-66 overtime win.
► NEXT UP: UIC will continue its three-game homestand next Thursday (Jan. 19), when the Flames take on two-time defending national runner-up Butler at the Pavilion beginning at 7:30 p.m. CST. The Bulldogs are 9-8 (3-2 Horizon) on the season, and coming off a 76-65 loss at Detroit last Sunday. Butler will host Cleveland State Friday night.
UIC: Howard Moore (Wisconsin, `95) is in his second season as the head coach at UIC. He spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, helping the Badgers to five-straight NCAA tournament berths. The Windy City native also served assistant coaching stints at Loyola (2004-05), Ball State (2003-04) and Bradley (1999-2003). Moore picked up his 12th head coaching win against Detroit on Dec. 29.
Loyola: Porter Moser, a native of Naperville, Ill., is in his first season as the head coach at Loyola. He spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach at Saint Louis under head coach Rick Majerus. Moser has also served head coaching stints at Illinois State (2003-08) and UALR (2000-03).
» Loyola was picked ninth in the preseason Horizon League poll, conducted by the League's head coaches, media panel and sports information directors.
» The Ramblers have two frontcourt players averaging double figures in scoring. Preseason All-Horizon League selection Ben Averkamp is scoring 15.2 points per game, while senior forward Walt Gibler is averaging 14.1 points per contest. The tandem has combined for 51 percent of the Ramblers' offensive output.
» Loyola ranks 10th in the Horizon League in scoring offense (55.9 ppg), but are fourth in field goal percentage (.407) and third overall in defensive field goal percentage (.420).
» The Ramblers have held all but one opponent (Kansas State) to 70 points or less this season, but are yet to score 70 points in a single-game. Loyola has scored a season-high 64 points on three occasions.
» In their first six conference contests, the Ramblers are scoring 50.3 points per game, while shooting 38.1 percent from the field and 28.4 percent from three-point range.
UIC VS. YOUNGSTOWN STATE POSTGAME NOTEBOOK
UIC was limited to a season-low 50 points, and shot 31.6 percent from the field for the game ... Youngstown State edged the Flames on the boards, 36-33 ... UIC drilled six three-pointers, the fifth time during Horizon League play that the Flames have converted at least five triples ... Youngstown State shot 55.2 percent in the first half, and finished the game shooting 49.1 percent from the field ... Sophomore forward Hayden Humes scored a team-high 11 points, marking his fifth double-digit scoring output of the season ... Senior center Darrin Williams chipped in nine points and corralled a game-high eight rebounds -- he has led the Flames in rebounding in six-of the last eight contests ... Youngstown State jumped out to a 17-3 lead through the opening 5:23, before UIC trimmed the deficit to just five points three times in the ensuing 9:42 ... YSU led 36-22 at halftime ... The Penguins out-scored UIC 28-14 in the paint, 14-5 off turnovers, 12-8 on second-chance points and 9-3 through the fast break ... UIC's bench out-scored YSU's reserves, 15-7.
UIC leads the all-time series against Loyola, 29-17, but the Ramblers have captured four-straight wins in the rivalry, dating back to the 2009-10 campaign. Loyola won the first three meetings (1985-88) between the two programs, before UIC took control, winning 12-of the next 14 contests. There have been a total of six overtime games in the series, and 15 contests have been decided by five points or less.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
With a win over Loyola, UIC would...
» Equal its entire Horizon League win output from the 2010-11 campaign, with 11 regular season League games remaining
» Improve to 6-2 at the UIC Pavilion this season, and pick up its 10th home victory under the tutelage of head coach Howard Moore
» Improve to 17-5 all-time versus Loyola at the UIC Pavilion
» Snap a four-game losing streak versus Loyola, and record its 30th all-time win over the Ramblers
» Improve to 4-1 versus opponents from the state of Illinois this season
SCOUTING THE FLAMES
UIC ranks third in the Horizon League in rebounding margin (+2.9), and first in offensive rebounds (13.3 rpg) ... During Horizon League play, the Flames are tied for first in the League in offensive rebounding (13.0 rpg), while ranking second in defensive rebounds (24.7 rpg) ... UIC boasts three-of the Horizon League's top-20 scorers, in junior guard Daniel Barnes (11.0 ppg; 14th), junior point guard Gary Talton (10.8; t-17th) and senior center Darrin Williams (10.8; t-17th) ... Williams ranks seventh in the League in rebounding (6.7 rpg), and second overall in field goal percentage (.574) ... Talton leads the Horizon League in free throw percentage (.851).
SHOOTING FROM DISTANCE
UIC is averaging 6.4 made three-point field goals per game this season, the fourth-best mark in the Horizon League. The Flames have converted at least five threes in 12 games, and their top-two three-point shooting performances (9 at Green Bay, 10 vs. Detroit) have taken place during Horizon League play. Junior guard Daniel Barnes ranks second in the League in three-point field goals made per game (2.3), while sophomore forward Hayden Humes is shooting 46.3 percent from three-point range, the second-best mark in the conference. During Horizon League play, the Flames have upped that average to 6.7 threes per game, which ranks third overall. In the Howard Moore era, the Flames have drilled 247 threes, an average of 5.3 triples per game.
HOME SWEET HOME
As mentioned, UIC is 5-2 at the UIC Pavilion this season -- the Flames won four-straight home games from Nov. 23-Dec. 29, before dropping a 74-70 overtime decision against visiting Wright State on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31). The Flames are averaging 64.4 points per home game, while limiting their opponents to just 60.9 points and 39.2 percent shooting. UIC out-rebounded its first five visiting opponents, but was out-rebounded by both Detroit (12/29/11) and Wright State in its first Horizon League homestand.
SEEKING THE WINNING FORMULA
When examining the combined stats in UIC's wins versus its losses, there are several noteworthy trends. The Flames are allowing their opponents to score just 57.4 points per game during their five wins, while shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 42.7 percent from three-point range. During their 11 losses, the Flames are shooting just 37.7 percent from the field and 28.8 percent from three-point range, while allowing their opponents to shoot nearly 48 percent (.476) from the field. Notably, in UIC's wins, the Flames are shooting just 58.7 percent from the free throw line, but have elevated that average to 68.6 percent in their losses.
DOWN TO THE WIRE...
UIC's men's basketball team has seen no shortage of nail biters this season, playing a total of eight games decided by five points or less. UIC is 3-5 in those contests, and had a chance to either tie or win the game with a last-second shot in road games at Green Bay (12/1/11), Milwaukee (12/3/11) and Central Michigan (12/16/11). Additionally, the Flames have held second-half leads in seven-of their 11 losses this season, and have come up short in two overtime decisions.
HUMES ON THE HORIZON
Sophomore forward Hayden Humes, a first-year transfer from Toledo, has made at least one three-pointer in 10-of his last 13 games, and is leading the team with a 46.3 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. Humes has made at least two three-pointers in three individual games during Horizon League play.