Jan. 24, 2012
► UIC will look to capture its first Horizon League road win Wednesday, when the Flames travel to Dayton, Ohio, to take on Wright State. The Flames are coming off a 60-55 loss versus Valparaiso last Saturday (1/21/12), while WSU dropped a 69-53 decision at Detroit.
► The Flames will be looking to secure a regular season split against the Raiders. Wright State posted a 74-70 overtime win over UIC at the Pavilion on New Year's Eve (12/31/11).
► UIC is 5-1 this season when holding its opponent under 60 points.
► UIC's last regular season Horizon League road win was on Feb. 27, 2009, against rival Loyola in the 2008-09 regular season finale. Since then, the Flames have dropped 22-consecutive regular season Horizon League road decisions. UIC's last road win over a Horizon League foe was on March 3, 2009, when the Flames defeated host Youngstown State (73-68) in the first-round of the Horizon League Tournament.
► NEXT UP: The Flames will complete their Horizon League road swing Friday, when UIC visits Calihan Hall in the Motor City, to take on Detroit. UIC recorded a 63-59 victory over the Titans at the Pavilion on Dec. 29.
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 Chicago native also served assistant coaching stints at Loyola (2004-05), Ball State (2003-04) and Bradley (1999-2003). Moore picked up his 13th head coaching win against rival Loyola on Jan. 14.
Moore is 0-3 versus Wright State. The Flames were swept in the regular season series last year, losing a pair of contests by a combined 14 points. As mentioned, the Raiders outlasted UIC in overtime, 74-70, on Dec. 31 at the UIC Pavilion.
Wright State: Billy Donlon, a native of Northbrook, Ill., is in his second season as the head coach at Wright State. Before taking over the Raider program, he spent the previous four years on Brad Brownell's (now the head coach at Clemson) staff at WSU.
ABOUT WRIGHT STATE
» Wright State was picked to finish eighth in the preseason Horizon League poll, conducted by the League's head coaches, media panel and sports information directors.
» The Raiders have dropped three-consecutive Horizon League games, with each coming on the road.
» Julius Mays, who sat out last Saturday's game at Detroit due to an achilles/calf injury, is the Horizon League's third-leading scorer during conference play, pouring in 15.8 points per game.
» Wright State (4-5) is currently tied for sixth in the Horizon League standings alongside Detroit.
» The Raiders are 6-5 at the Nutter Center this season, including a 2-2 Horizon League home record. Wright State defeated first-place Valparaiso, 73-55, in its last conference home game (1/8/12).
SCOUTING THE FLAMES
UIC boasts two-of the Horizon League's top-20 scorers, in junior guard Daniel Barnes (11.1 ppg; 15th) and junior point guard Gary Talton (10.8; 16th) ... Senior center Darrin Williams ranks eighth in the League in rebounding (6.3 rpg), third overall in field goal percentage (.562) and fourth in blocks (1.4 bpg) ... Talton leads the Horizon League in free throw percentage (.825), and is sixth in assists (3.4 apg) ... Barnes is averaging 2.3 three-point field goals per game, the second-best mark in the League, and ranks sixth in the Horizon League in steals (1.4 spg) ... Sophomore forward Hayden Humes ranks third in the League in three-point field goal percentage (.449) ... In Horizon League play, UIC is allowing its opponents to shoot just 42.7 percent from the field, and only 31.2 percent from three-point range ... The Flames rank second in the League in offensive rebounding (12.4 rpg) during Horizon League action ... Talton is scoring a Horizon League eighth-best 14.1 points per conference game.
Wright State holds a slim 22-21 lead over UIC in the all-time series. Dating back to the 2006-07 season, Wright State has won 10-of the last 11 meetings, and five-straight. The Flames' last road win over the Raiders was during the 2005-06 campaign (1/25/06).
WHAT'S AT STAKE
With a win over Wright State, UIC would...
» Equal its entire victory output from the 2010-11 campaign (7), and eclipse its Horizon League win total (2) from last season.
» Secure the regular season split versus Wright State.
» Record its first road victory of the season, and win its first regular season Horizon League road contest since Feb. 27, 2009.
» Snap a five-game losing streak versus Wright State, and defeat the Raiders for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign.
LAST TIME VERSUS WRIGHT STATE
Senior center Darrin Williams scored a career-high 22 points, but fouled out with 42 seconds remaining in regulation, and visiting Wright State out-scored the Flames 16-12 in overtime, leading to a 74-70 win over the UIC men's basketball team at the UIC Pavilion on Dec. 31.
Williams scored his 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and pulled down a game-high seven rebounds. He was joined in double figures by junior point guard Gary Talton, who scored a career-high-tying 21 points, and freshman guard Marc Brown, who chipped in 12. Wright State was led by Julius Mays, who scored 21 points, and Johann Mpondo, who chipped in 16. Wright State out-rebounded the Flames 37-34, and saw its bench out-score the Flames' reserves, 19-2. There were a combined 25 ties and lead changes in the game.
DOWN TO THE WIRE...
UIC's men's basketball team has seen no shortage of nail biters this season, playing a total of nine games decided by five points or less, including five times during Horizon League play. UIC is 3-6 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 eight-of their 13 losses this season, and have come up short in two overtime decisions.
ONE OF THE LEAGUE'S FINEST
Junior point guard Gary Talton, in his first season in a Flames' uniform, has posted double-digit scoring outputs in seven-of UIC's nine Horizon League games. In the first meeting against Wright State (12/31/11), Talton's 21-point output came on a 5-for-9 effort from the field (2-3 three-point range), and a 9-of-10 output from the free throw line. Talton also dished out six assists in 39 minutes of action.
ALL TOGETHER NOW
UIC's junior guard tandem of Daniel Barnes and Gary Talton, who both eclipsed the 200-point plateau for the season during last week's Horizon League homestand, continues to represent the Flames' most reliable scoring threats. Barnes (11.1 ppg) and Talton (10.8) have combined for 23 double-digit scoring outputs, and are the respective 15th and 16th leading scorers in the Horizon League.
UIC has held seven-of its 19 opponents under 41 percent shooting this season, including two-of the last three, and four Horizon League foes. The Flames have been particularly stifling at home during Horizon League play, limiting their last five visiting opponents (Detroit, Wright State, Loyola, Butler, Valparaiso) to just 40.2 percent shooting (104-of-259).
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 14 games, and their top-two three-point shooting performances (9 at Green Bay, 10 vs. Detroit) have taken place during Horizon League play, where UIC is converting 6.6 threes per contest. 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 a League third-best 44.9 percent from three-point range. In the Howard Moore era, the Flames have drilled 266 threes, an average of 5.3 triples per game.