Game #18: Windy City Rivalry: Flames Host Loyola Wednesday

Senior guard Daniel Barnes
Senior guard Daniel Barnes

Jan. 15, 2013

UIC vs. Loyola Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Game #18: Windy City Rivalry: Flames Host Loyola Wednesday
UIC Flames (10-7/1-3 HL) vs. Loyola Ramblers (10-6/1-3 HL)

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 • UIC Pavilion • 7:00 p.m. CST
Audio/Video: Horizon League Network/
HLN Talent: Justin Weiner (Play-by-Play)/Kenny Williams (Color Commentary)
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 25-53 (3rd season)
Loyola Head Coach: Porter Moser • Record at Loyola/Overall: 17-29 (2nd season)/122-130 (9th season)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB, #windycityrivalry

The Last Meeting
February 11, 2012
Chicago, Ill. (Gentile Center)
Flames Come Up Short at Loyola, 78-69
The Flames' junior backcourt tandem of Gary Talton and Daniel Barnes combined to score 33 points, but Loyola saw five players score in double figures, as the Ramblers posted a convincing 78-69 win over the UIC men's basketball team in a Horizon League game at Gentile Arena Saturday afternoon.

UIC's Last Game Starters

#4 Gary Talton • PG
The Flames' leading scorer and third-leading rebounder. In Horizon League games, is averaging a League third-best 16.3 ppg. Has scored in double figures 14 times this season, and on 35 occasions during his two-year career. 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 44 three-point field goals, an average of 2.6 threes per game. Ranks 10th on UIC's all-time three-point field goals list (113). Enters Wednesday's game with 197 points on the season, just three short of 200. Averaged a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season.

#13 Hayden Humes • SF
Ranks seventh in the Horizon League in rebounding. Enters Wednesday's game as Flames' third-leading scorer. Shooting 45.5 percent from the floor. Has led the Flames in scoring five times, and been the leading rebounder on eight occasions. Passed the 600-point plateau for his Division I career against Valparaiso. UIC's career active leader in both rebounds and blocks.

#44 Will Simonton • PF
Made first-career start last Saturday at Green Bay. Has seen action in all 17 games as the Flames' primary sixth man. Shooting 42.9 percent from the floor, and has swatted 10 blocks on the season. An active defender. UIC's career active leader in both rebounds and blocks.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
Has posted double-digit scoring efforts in 10-of the last 14 games. In Horizon League play, is the Flames' second-leading scorer (12.0 ppg) and leading rebounder (7.0 rpg). Averaging 2.6 assists per game, second-most on the team. Transferred to UIC from UCF in September.

Series Information: UIC leads, 30-18
UIC leads the all-time series against Loyola, 30-18, but the Ramblers have won five-of the last six games in the rivalry. 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.

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team (10-7, 1-3 Horizon) will look to gain the upper hand in the first installment of the Windy City Rivalry Wednesday, when the Flames host Loyola (10-6, 1-3 Horizon) at the Pavilion beginning at 7:00 p.m. CST. UIC suffered a pair of Horizon League defeats by a combined 11 points last week, while Loyola dropped a one-point (62-61) decision versus first-place Wright State last Friday.

Back on the Horizon
UIC is in its 12th season of Horizon League play - the Flames have compiled a record of 80-110 (.421) 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).

Converting the Freebies
UIC has been one-of the best free throw shooting teams in the Horizon League all season long, and enters Wednesday's game ranked seventh in the nation in the category (.774). For the first time in school history, the Flames have strung together back-to-back 100 percent efforts from the free throw line, going 18-of-18 against Valparaiso (1/9/12), and 8-for-8 last Saturday at Green Bay. Heading into Wednesday's game against Loyola, UIC has made its last 30-consecutive free throws, dating back to the Cleveland State game (1/7/13).

What to Watch For...
Key stops on the defensive end. UIC and Loyola are two-of the Horizon League's best defensive teams. The Flames are surrendering just 58.2 points per game, which ranks second in the League, while Loyola is allowing only 58.5 points per contest, third-best in the conference. UIC's defensive field goal percentage of 38.9 percent is tops in the League, and its three-point field goal defense (.294) ranks second overall.

Last Time Out: Flames Fall Short at Green Bay, 53-47
The UIC men's basketball team held Green Bay to just a 36.2 percent effort from the floor, but came up short in a Horizon League game at the Resch Center Saturday afternoon, 53-47.

In a defensive-minded game, UIC's lone double-digit scorer was senior point guard Gary Talton, who chipped in 11 points. Green Bay was led by preseason All-Horizon League First-Team pick Alec Brown, who scored 21 points and pulled down eight rebounds.

UIC stifled the Phoenix to just a 33.3 percent shooting effort in the second half, but the Flames finished the game with only a 34.0 percent output from the floor.

POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Sophomore center Will Simonton made his first-career start ... Sophomore wing Marc Browncame off the bench to score nine points (all in the first half), his highest scoring output since the Colorado State game (12/8/12) ... UIC dropped its first contest of the season when holding its opponent between 30-39 percent shooting (8-1) ... For the first time in school history, the Flames have strung together back-to-back 100 percent efforts from the free throw line, going 8-for-8 on Saturday ... Heading into Wednesday's game against Loyola, UIC has made its last 30-consecutive free throws, dating back to the Cleveland State game (1/7/13) ... The Flames dropped their first decision this season when holding their opponent between 50-59 points ... UIC is now 4-5 on the season when shooting between 30-39 percent from the floor ... The Flames have dropped 29-straight regular season Horizon League road games, dating back to Feb. 27, 2009.

Talton Elevates Game in Horizon League Play
Senior point guard Gary Taltonhas taken his game to another level since the outset of Horizon League play on Jan. 2. Talton enters Wednesday's contest ranked fifth in the League in scoring at 16.3 points per game, more than three points per game (3.2) higher than his season average. He is also shooting 50.0 percent (19-38) from the field in Horizon League play, including a 57.1 percent (8-14) effort from three-point range, which ranks second in the League. Talton has continued to maintain his success from the free throw line, shooting nearly 90.5 percent (19-21) from the charity stripe in conference games.

Stealin' the Show
Senior guard Daniel Barneshas been one of UIC's most consistent shooters during his career with the Flames. Where the Oak Park, Ill., native has most noticeably improved his game is on the defensive end, especially since the beginning of Horizon League play. Entering Wednesday's game against rival Loyola, Barnes is averaging a League-best 3.3 steals per game, with a total of 13 thefts in UIC's four Horizon League contests.

Barnes has put together some of the most noteworthy individual statistical performances in the past three years under head coach Howard Moore. He is the only player to score 30 or more points (30 vs. Eastern Michigan, [12/15/12]) in a single game under Moore, has converted six three-pointers twice in the past two years, and his eight steals against Valparaiso (1/9/13) is also the most for an individual player under Moore's tutelage.

Seeking the Winning Formula
In the 10 UIC victories this season, the Flames have held their opponents to just 51.0 points per game and 34.9 percent shooting, and dished out an average of 14.0 assists per game. However, in the seven losses, UIC opponents are shooting 45.3 percent from the floor and scoring an average of 68.6 points per contest. Additionally, in the setbacks, the Flames have distributed 11.1 assists per game, nearly three helpers less than in their wins.

The Word on the Flames
• UIC primarily plays a man-to-man defensive scheme, occasionally mixing in various zone looks. Head coach Howard Moore has used a rotation of seven or eight players this season, depending on the match-up.
• UIC is allowing just 58.2 points per game, which would represent the lowest point average for its opponents in school history, and ranks 34th in the country. • UIC currently ranks seventh in the country in free throw percentage, at 77.4 percent. The Flames have shot 75 percent or better from the charity stripe in 10 games this season.
• The Flames are averaging only 11.1 turnovers per game, which ranks 17th nationally. UIC has turned the ball over on just 17.5 percent of its possessions. • When UIC holds its opponent between 30-39 percent shooting, the Flames are 8-1 on the season. UIC is also 6-1 when leading at halftime, and 4-1 when out-rebounding its opponents.
• UIC leads the Horizon League in free throw percentage and defensive field goal percentage (.389).
• The Flames are 6-1 at the Pavilion this season, with notable home wins over Colorado State (12/8/12), and Youngstown State (1/2/13) in the Horizon League opener.

Even More on the Flames
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is averaging a team-high 13.1 points per game, with a total of 223 points on the season. He is also the team leader in free throws made (65) and free throw percentage (.878) - Talton is shooting at an 87.2 percent clip from the charity stripe for his two-year career.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 11.6 points per game - he is shooting 39.0 percent from the floor and 37.9 percent from three-point range. Barnes is also the team and Horizon League leader in steals (27), and enters Wednesday's game averaging 4.0 rebounds per game.
• To go along with his 11.0 points per contest, junior forward Hayden Humes is averaging a team-high 5.9 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from three. The second-year transfer from Toledo passed the 600 career-point plateau for his Division I career last Wednesday against Valpo. • Senior center Josh Crittle is averaging 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game on a 50.0 percent (19-38) effort from the field in Horizon League play. The UCF transfer has scored in double figures in three-of the Flames' four conference games.
• Talton (13.1 ppg; 8th), Barnes (11.6; 13th) and Humes (11.0; t-17th) all rank in the Horizon League's top-20 in scoring.
• The combination of Talton, Barnes, Humes, sophomore forward Marc Brown and Crittle have started the first 16 games of the season for head coach Howard Moore. That group is currently occupying 77.6 percent of UIC's total minutes played. Humes (582), Talton (576) and Barnes (530) have all played more than 500 minutes this season.
• 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 campaign, 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 Ramblers
Loyola, who was picked seventh in the preseason Horizon League poll, is 10-6 on the season, with a 1-3 mark in Horizon League play - the Ramblers have dropped three-straight conference decisions. Preseason Second-Team All-Horizon League selection Ben Averkamp has led Loyola's offensive attack, averaging 15.1 points per game to go along with 6.4 rebounds per contest. Freshman Devon Turk is scoring 8.9 points per game, while point guard Cully Payne is averaging 8.4 points per contest, and has dished out 73 assists against 42 turnovers.

Loyola currently ranks third in the Horizon League in scoring defense (58.2 ppg), free throw percentage (.736) and rebounding margin (+2.8), and leads the League in three-point field goal percentage, at 35.9 percent. The Ramblers are mentored by former UALR and Illinois State head coach Porter Moser, who is in his second year at the helm.

UIC-Loyola: Revisiting the 2011-12 Season
UIC and Loyola split the regular season series during the 2011-12 campaign, with both teams recording wins on their respective home court. UIC defeated the Ramblers 58-51 at the Pavilion on Jan. 14, 2012, while Loyola recorded a 78-69 win at Gentile Arena on Feb. 11, in the Horizon League Network Game of the Week.

At the Pavilion, Daniel Barnesscored a team-high 18 points on six three-pointers, and the Flames held Loyola to just 40.5 percent shooting output. The Flames upped their record to 6-2 at the Pavilion, and picked up their 30th all-time win against their cross-town rivals.

Barnes was joined in double figures by point guard Gary Talton, who chipped in 16 points, and senior center Darrin Williams, who posted an impressive stat line with 11 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Loyola was led in scoring by Walt Gibler, who poured in a game-high 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Ben Averkamp was limited to 10 points on 5-for-14 shooting.

In the return game at the new-look Gentile Arena, Talton and Barnes combined to score 33 points, but Loyola saw five players score in double figures, and the Ramblers picked up their first Horizon League win of the season. Talton scored a game-high 18 points on a career-best seven field goals, while Barnes chipped in 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including three triples. Averkamp scored 17 points to pace Loyola, who led from wire-to-wire.

What's Trending?
• The Flames have been out-rebounded in four-of the last five games, and dropped all four of those decisions (at Toledo, at Cleveland State, vs. Valparaiso, at Green Bay).
• As a team, UIC has converted 43-of its last 48 attempts from the free throw line (.896), a stretch that spans three games. As mentioned, the Flames have converted each of their last 30 attempts from the charity stripe.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes has scored in double figures in 10-of the past 14 games. Over the past 14 outings, Barnes has tallied five games with 14 or more points. He has also drilled at least four three-pointers in four-of the last nine games.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has handed out at least four assists in 10 games, and dished out three or more helpers 14-of-17 contests. In home games, the Dallas native is averaging 5.6 assists per contest, and has posted a stellar 4:9 assist/turnover ratio.
• Dating back to last season, Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 20-of the last 24 contests.
• In the past seven games, senior center Josh Crittle has scored 78 points (11.1 ppg) and dished out 19 assists (2.7 apg). Crittle has scored in double figures in five of those contests, including 16 points on six field goals in the Flames' last home game against Valpo.
• Sophomore point guard Jay Parker, a first-year transfer from Highland C.C. in Freeport, Ill., has played 12 minutes off the bench in each of the past two games. Before the Valpo game (1/9/13), Parker had seen double-digit minutes just once, against Roosevelt (12/5/12). Parker has turned the ball over just three times in the past 41:00 of action.

The Flames' Rotation
UIC's regular rotation includes seven players that occupy 92.9 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 42 games, dating back to the 2011-12 campaign. Humes leads the team in field goals (71) and is second in three-point field goals (29). He has led the Flames in scoring five times this season, and also been the top rebounder in eight contests, including last Saturday at Green Bay (8).
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has played 576 total minutes (33.9 mpg) this season. He has dished out 75 assists against 34 turnovers, and leads the team in scoring (13.1 ppg) for the second-consecutive season. Talton has led the Flames in assists in 16-of-17 games, and paced the team in scoring on seven occasions.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is averaging 31.2 minutes per game. The Oak Park, Ill., native ranks second in the Horizon League in three-point field goals (44) and has pulled down 68 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 475 minutes (28.2 mpg) this season. Brown often draws the defensive assignment on the opposing team's most talented perimeter player. Offensively, he has scored 296 career points in a total of 44 career starts.
• Senior center Josh Crittle is averaging 28.1 minutes per game. He is shooting nearly 43 percent (.428) from the field and ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.5 rpg), including 1.8 offensive boards per game. The UCF transfer has great vision for a big man - Crittle has dished out 44 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 289 minutes (17.0 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 seven games.
• Sophomore center Will Simontonplayed 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 17 contests in an average of 13.5 minutes per game - he recorded his first-career start last Saturday at Green Bay (1/12/13). Simonton is shooting 42.9 percent (18-42) from the floor.

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 (10 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.