Jan. 15, 2014
UIC Game Notes
The UIC men’s basketball team (5-12, 0-3) begins a three-game homestand on Thursday night against Milwaukee (12-6, 2-2) with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. CT. The Flames look for their first Horizon League win of the season as the Panthers will try and bounce back from an overtime loss against first-place Green Bay last Sunday. UIC split with UWM last season as both teams won their respective home matches. Milwaukee leads the all-time series, owning a 40-23 advantage. Thursday’s conference tilt will be carried live on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and ESPN3 with audio coverage available on ESPN 1000.
Last Time Out
UIC dropped another heartbreaker on the road against Wright State this past Sunday night by a final of 58-53. The Flames held a 53-49 lead over WSU with less than four minutes to play, but the Raiders closed out the game on a 9-0 run to steal the league win. Senior Kelsey Barlow paced UIC with a game-high 19 points, while junior Marc Brown added 14. Senior Jordan Harks grabbed a game-high 11 boards as the Flames out-rebounded WSU by a margin of 36-28. Both teams shot poorly from the field, totaling less than 40 percent, but the Raiders made good on 22-of-25 free throws, while UIC went 14-of-22.
Scouting the Panthers
Milwaukee touts an overall record of 12-6 and a Horizon League mark of 2-2 as they begin a three-game road stretch. The Panthers had success during the non-league portion of the 2013-14 season, picking up a program record 10 wins before conference play commenced. UWM displays a balanced scoring attack with four separate players averaging double-figures led by sophomore Matt Tiby (14.3 ppg). The Panthers fell in their most recent outing on Sunday at home to first-place Green Bay in overtime by a final of 93-86, after leading by as much as nine points in the second half.
Flashback: A Record Setting Second Half
During last year’s game versus Milwaukee at UIC on Jan. 23, 2013, the Flames faced an uphill climb as the Panthers held a 42-25 halftime lead. UIC completely turned the tables in the second half, outscoring UWM 35-8 and ultimately claimed a 60-50 victory. Eight points scored by the Panthers set a new Pavilion record for the least amount of points scored in one half. The Flames held UWM to just three second-half field goals and 0-of-17 from behind the arc.
A League of his Own
Senior Kelsey Barlow is having one of the best performances in the Horizon League this season as he paces UIC in nearly all statistical categories. Barlow is the lone player in the conference to average 16 points, five rebounds and four assists or more per game. His 38 points against Wagner on Nov. 27 is the second-highest single-game point total in the Horizon League this season and the most by a UIC player since Feb. of 2005. For his near triple-double performance against SEMO (21 pts, 12 rebs, eight asts.), Barlow was named the Horizon Player of the Week on Dec.16, his first career weekly conference accolade.
First Half Dominance
Throughout the last four games, UIC has owned three half-time leads, including a 44-34 advantage against Illinois at the United Center on Dec. 28. In those games, the Flames are outscoring (147-129), outrebounding (69-51) and out-shooting (51% to 47%) their opponents. UIC has also produced a three-point shooting percentage of 53% during the first half of the previous four games, compared to just 33% for their competition.
Sure Shot Harks
Senior Jordan Harks has been a model of efficiency this season shooting 58-of-92 (63%) from the floor, which ranks third among all Horizon League players. Harks has performed even better as of late, connecting on 28 of his last 38 shot attempts (74%) throughout the past seven games. If the season ended today, Harks’ 63.0 shooting percentage would rank second all-time in UIC’s single season records book.
Humes Nearing Multiple Milestones
Senior Hayden Humes is on the verge of eclipsing several milestones during his final season as a college basketball player. Humes needs just two more points to reach 900 for his career, which includes one year at Toledo (183) and three seasons with UIC (715). The 6-foot-8 sharp-shooter also needs just three more treys to crack UIC’s top 10 career made threes list as he currently owns 113. If the season ended today, Humes’ career three-point shooting percentage of 39.9% would rank seventh on UIC’s all-time leaderboard.
Breakthrough Performer of the Year
Junior Marc Brown is having one of the best breakout seasons in the Horizon League this year as he has upped his scoring average by 7.2 points per game. That increase ranks fifth among all returning Horizon League players behind Detroit’s Juwan Howard Jr. (9.1 ppg), YSU’s Ryan Weber (8.4 ppg), Milwaukee’s Kyle Kelm (8.0 ppg) and Detroit’s Anton Wilson (7.3 ppg). Brown began the 2013-14 campaign with three straight 20-point efforts, becoming the first Flame to post a trio of 20-point games since Robo Kreps did it in the 2010-11 season. He currently ranks 15th in the Horizon League in scoring (12.9 ppg) and second on the team.