Game #19: Flames Trek to Motor City to Face Titans Saturday Night

Senior center Josh Crittle
Senior center Josh Crittle

Jan. 18, 2013

Game Notes: UIC at DetroitGet Acrobat Reader

Game #19: Flames Travel to Motor City to Face Titans Saturday
UIC Flames (11-7/2-3 HL) at Detroit Titans (11-7/3-2 HL)

Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 • Calihan Hall • 5:30 p.m. CST
Audio: (Play-by-Play: Justin Weiner; Color: Kenny Williams)
Television: Fox Sports Detroit Plus (Play-by-Play: Dan Dickerson; Color: Earl Cureton
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 26-53 (3rd season)
UDM Head Coach: Ray McCallum • Record at UDM/Overall: 77-74 (5th season)/247-223 (15th season)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

The Last Meeting
January 27, 2012
Detroit, Mich. (Calihan Hall)
Flames Drop Another Heartbreaker, 70-66 at Detroit
Junior point guard Gary Talton scored 17 points to lead four Flames in double figures, but Detroit's Ray McCallum poured in 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting, and the Titans held off a furious second-half rally to defeat the UIC men's basketball team, 70-66 Friday night at Calihan Hall. The loss dropped UIC to 3-7 on the season in games decided by five points or less.

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 sixth-best 15.8 ppg. Has scored in double figures 15 times this season, and 36 times during his two-year career. Made the game-winning runner with 1.7 seconds left against Loyola Wednesday night. 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 45 three-point field goals, an average of 2.6 threes per game. Ranks 10th on UIC's all-time three-point field goals list (114). Scored his 200th point of the season Wednesday against rival Loyola. Averaged a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season.

#20 Anthony Kelley • SF
Ranks ninth in the Horizon League in rebounding. Enters Saturday's game as Flames' third-leading scorer. Shooting 45.3 percent from the floor and 40.3 percent from three. Has led the Flames in scoring five times, and been the leading rebounder on eight occasions. UIC's career active leader in both rebounds and blocks.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
Made second-career start against rival Loyola Wednesday night, scoring six points (2-5), pulling down three rebounds, handing out two assists and collecting one block in 21 minutes. Played a total of 19 minutes on the season prior to Wednesday's game. UIC's lone four-year senior.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
Has posted double-digit scoring efforts in 11-of the last 15 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.

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team (11-7, 2-3 Horizon) will look two collect its second-straight Horizon League win Saturday, when the Flames trek to the Motor City to take on the University of Detroit (11-7, 3-2 Horizon). The Flames are coming off a 61-59 win over rival Loyola Wednesday night at the Pavilion, while Detroit was edged by visiting Valparaiso, 89-88, on Thursday.

Last Time Out: UIC Edges Rival Loyola, 61-59
CHICAGO - Senior point guard Gary Talton sank a running bank shot with just 1.7 seconds remaining, lifting the UIC men's basketball team to a thrilling 61-59 win over crosstown rival Loyola in a Horizon League battle at the UIC Pavilion Wednesday night. The victory pushed UIC's record to 7-1 at home this season.

Talton scored a team-high 14 points on six field goals, and dished out four assists against just one turnover. He was joined in double figures by senior center Josh Crittle, who chipped in 12 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Loyola was led by Christian Thomas, who poured in 16 points on 4-of-4 shooting, and an 8-of-8 effort from the free throw line. Preseason All-Horizon League selection Ben Averkamp contributed 14 points. UIC senior Anthony Kelley collected just his second-career start, scoring six points, pulling down three rebounds, dishing out two assists and swatting one block.

UIC committed just three turnovers in the game, a season-low mark. The Flames also scored 11 points off Loyola's nine turnovers, and stifled the Ramblers to just a 34.8 percent effort from the field in the second half.

Talton called his own number on the game-winner, driving through the left lane and finishing off glass under duress with just 1.7 seconds left. On the last play, Averkamp caught a full-court pass just outside the left wing of the three-point line, turned and launched a shot that fell just short.

POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Senior Anthony Kelley made his second-career start -- his only other starting assignment came in the season opener of the 2009-10 campaign (Kelley's freshman season) against Illinois-Springfield ... UIC out-scored the Ramblers 26-20 in the paint, 11-0 off turnovers, 12-7 on second chance points and 6-0 through the fast break ... The Flames' three turnovers tied a single-game school record, and represented their lowest output since Feb. 3, 2007, when UIC committed four mishaps at Youngstown State ... Senior center Josh Crittle scored 12 points and pulled down a game-high seven rebounds, matching both of his averages in those categories during Horizon League play ... Talton's runner with time winding down marked his second-career game-winning shot ... On Dec. 19, 2011, he sank a driving layup with just 3.2 seconds remaining, helping the Flames erase a late-game eight-point deficit to edge Western Illinois (57-56) at the Pavilion ... UIC improved to 31-18 all-time versus Loyola ... It marked the 16th time in the all-time series that a single game was decided by five points or less.

Back on the Horizon
UIC is in its 12th season of Horizon League play - the Flames have compiled a record of 81-110 (.424) 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 Saturday's game ranked fifth in the nation in the category (.776). Dating back to the Cleveland State game (1/7/13), UIC has made its last 36-of its last 37 free throws, including a pair of flawless efforts against Valpo (Jan. 9) and Green Bay (Jan. 12).

Key Statistic
Scoring offense versus scoring defense. UIC enters Saturday's game ranked second in the Horizon League in scoring defense, surrendering just 58.3 points per game. Conversely, Detroit leads the League in scoring offense, averaging 78.4 ppg. The Flames have held 10 opponents under 60 points this season, and UDM has scored at least 80 points nine times.

Additionally, UIC is limiting its opponents to just a League-best 38.9 percent effort from the floor, while the Titans are shooting the ball at a 44.5 percent clip, which ranks second in the conference.

Talton Elevates Game in Horizon League Play
Senior point guard Gary Talton has taken his game to another level since the outset of Horizon League play on Jan. 2. Talton enters Saturday's contest ranked seventh in the League in scoring at 15.8 points per conference game. He is also shooting 50.0 percent from both the field and three-point range in Horizon League play. Talton has continued to maintain his success from the free throw line, shooting nearly 90.9 percent (20-22) from the charity stripe in conference games.

Stealin' the Show
Senior guard Daniel Barnes has 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 Saturday's game against Detroit, Barnes is averaging a League-best 2.8 steals per game, with a total of 14 thefts in UIC's five 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) are also the most for an individual player under Moore's tutelage.

Newcomer of the Year Material
Senior center Josh Crittle isn't new to Division I college basketball, but he is new to the Horizon League, and is one of the leading favorites for the Newcomer of the Year Award as the half-way point of the League season approaches. The first-year transfer from UCF is averaging 12.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg in Horizon League play, while shooting 52.1 percent (25-28) from the floor. His scoring output ranks second among all Horizon League newcomers (behind only Cleveland State's Bryn Forbes' 15.6 ppg), while his rebounding numbers rank first among all newcomers in the League. Crittle, who is enrolled in UIC's graduate school, is currently satisfying his lone year of eligibility with the Flames.

Seeking the Winning Formula
In the 11 UIC victories this season, the Flames have held their opponents to just 51.7 points per game and 35.3 percent shooting, and dished out an average of 13.7 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 58.3 points per game, which would represent the lowest point average for its opponents in school history, and ranks 29th in the country.
• UIC currently ranks fifth in the country in free throw percentage, at 77.6 percent. The Flames have shot 75 percent or better from the charity stripe in 11 games this season.
• The Flames are averaging only 10.7 turnovers per game, which ranks 10th nationally. UIC has turned the ball over on just 16.9 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 7-1 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 2-4 on the road this season, with non-conference road wins over Northern Illinois (11/27/12) and Northwestern (12/1/12).

Even More on the Flames
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is averaging a team-high 13.2 points per game, with a total of 237 points on the season. He is also the team leader in free throws made (74) and free throw percentage (.880) - Talton is shooting at an 87.3 percent clip from the charity stripe for his two-year career.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 11.3 points per game - he is shooting 38.3 percent from the floor and 37.2 percent from three-point range. Barnes is also the team and Horizon League leader in steals (28), and enters Saturday's game averaging 3.8 rebounds per game.
• To go along with his 10.9 points per contest, junior forward Hayden Humes is averaging a team-high 5.7 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from three. The second-year transfer from Toledo passed the 600 career-point plateau for his Division I career against Valpo (1/9/13).
• Senior center Josh Crittle is averaging 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game on a 52.1 percent (25-48) effort from the field in Horizon League play. The UCF transfer has scored in double figures in four-of the Flames' five conference games.
• Talton (13.2 ppg; 10th), Barnes (11.3; 15th) and Humes (10.9; 19th) all rank in the Horizon League's top-20 in scoring.
• 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. Detroit captured the Horizon League Tournament Championship in Valparaiso, Ind., last March, garnering the League's automatic berth into the "Big Dance."
• 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 Titans
Detroit, who was picked second in the preseason Horizon League poll, is 11-7 on the season, with a 3-2 mark in Horizon League play - the Titans have won five-of their last seven overall. Preseason Player of the Year Ray McCallum has spearheaded Detroit's offensive attack, averaging a League-best 18.3 points per game to go along with 4.7 assists per contest. McCallum leads a fivesome of Titans averaging double digits in scoring, including Jason Calliste (13.9 ppg), Nick Minnerath (13.2), Doug Anderson (11.4) and Juwan Howard Jr. (10.0).

Detroit currently leads the Horizon League in scoring offense (78.4 ppg), steals per game (8.8), turnover margin (+5.6), assist/turnover ratio (1.3), offensive rebounds (12.1 rpg) and three-point field goals made per game (7.8). The Titans are mentored by former Ball State and Houston head coach Ray McCallum, who is in his fifth year at the helm.

UIC-Detroit: Revisiting the 2011-12 Season
UIC and Detroit split the regular season series during the 2011-12 campaign, with both teams recording four-point wins on their respective home court. UIC defeated the Titans 63-59 at the Pavilion on Dec. 29, 2011, while UDM recorded a 70-66 win at Calihan Hall on Jan. 27.

At the Pavilion, point guard Gary Talton poured in a game-high 21 points to lead three Flames in double figures, as UIC picked up its first Horizon League win of the season.

Talton's was joined in double figures by Daniel Barnes, who scored 14 points, and Hayden Humes, who chipped in 10. Detroit was led by Chase Simon, who scored 14 points on 5-of-14 shooting. The Flames shot 47.7 percent from the field for the game, and held Detroit to just a 39 percent effort. There were a combined 11 ties and lead changes in the game.

In the return game at Calihan Hall, Talton scored 17 points to lead four Flames in double figures, but Detroit's Ray McCallum poured in 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting, and the Titans held off a furious second-half rally to defeat UIC on a Friday night. The Titans out-scored UIC 34-20 in the paint, and held a 36-25 advantage on the boards, bolstered by 14 offensive rebounds.

What's Trending?
• As a team, UIC has converted 49-of its last 55 attempts from the free throw line (.890), a stretch that spans four games.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has handed out at least four assists in 11 games, and dished out three or more helpers 15-of-18 contests. In home games, the Dallas native is averaging 5.4 assists per contest, and has posted a stellar 4:8 assist/turnover ratio (43 assists, nine turnovers).
• Dating back to last season, Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 21-of the last 25 contests.
• In the past eight games, senior center Josh Crittle has scored 90 points (11.3 ppg) and dished out 20 assists (2.5 apg). Crittle has scored in double figures in six of those contests, including 12 points on six field goals on Wednesday night against rival Loyola.
• Sophomore point guard Jay Parker, a first-year transfer from Highland C.C. in Freeport, Ill., has played a combined 35 minutes off the bench in the past three games (11.7 mpg). 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 52:00 of action.

The Season Accolades
• Senior point guard Gary Talton was named Horizon League Co-Player of the Week on Nov. 26, 2012 after averaging 15.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, while committing just two turnovers in a pair of wins over Iona (11/19/12) and Southeast Missouri (11/24/12).
• Senior center Josh Crittle chalked up Horizon League Newcomer of the Week (11/24/12) honors after averaging 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 48 percent (.476) from the field against Iona and SEMO.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes collected his first Horizon League Player of the Week honor on Dec. 17 after exploding for 30 points in UIC's convincing 74-48 win over Eastern Michigan (12/17/12), where he began his college basketball career. Barnes became the first UIC player to score 30 or more points in a single game since Jeremy Buttell at Youngstown State on Jan. 7, 2010.
• Senior center Josh Crittle was named the Horizon League Newcomer of the Week (1/7/13) for the second time this season after scoring 14 points and pulling down seven rebounds in UIC's 65-60 win over Youngstown State (1/2/13).

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.

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 1-4 on the season. In contrast, when the Flames hold the opposition between 30 and 39 percent from the field, UIC is 8-1.

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.