Game #25: Flames Continue Road Swing at Youngstown State Sunday

Senior guard Daniel Barnes
Senior guard Daniel Barnes

Feb. 9, 2013

UIC at Youngstown State (GameGet Acrobat Reader

Game #25: Flames Continue Road Swing at Youngstown State
UIC Flames (14-10/5-6 HL) at Youngstown State Penguins (14-10, 6-5 HL)

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 • Beeghly Center • 1:00 p.m. CST
Radio: ESPN Chicago (WMVP-AM 1000)/ • Video: Horizon League Network
Radio Talent: Dave Juday (PBP)/Kenny Williams (Color)/Jonathan Hood (Pregame/Halftime)
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 29-56 (3rd season)
YSU Head Coach: Jerry Slocum • Record at YSU/Overall: 88-146 (8th season)/669-470 (38th season)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

The Last Meeting
Youngstown State60
January 2, 2013
UIC Pavilion
Flames Outlast Youngstown State in HL Opener, 65-60
Senior point guard Gary Talton scored a game-high 19 points, including eight in the final 2:33, leading the UIC men's basketball team to a 65-60 win over Youngstown State in the Horizon League opener for both teams Wednesday night at the Pavilion. UIC held the Penguins to just a 37 percent output from the field, improving to 6-0 at home on the season.

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 10th-best 14.0 ppg. Has scored in double figures 20 times this season, and 41 times during his two-year career. Has dished out 90 assists against 58 turnovers on the season. Member of the 2012 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.

#1 Daniel Barnes • SG
The Flames' second-leading scorer. Has drilled a Horizon League third-best 50 three-point field goals, an average of 2.3 threes per game. Ranks eighth on UIC's all-time three-point field goals list (118). Made first start since Jan. 16 on Tuesday at Valpo. Averaged a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season.

#20 Anthony Kelley • SF
Has started the past seven games after seeing action in just four-of the first 17 contests of the season. Tallied first-career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds against Milwaukee (1/23/13). Did not play against Youngstown State at the Pavilion (1/2/13). UIC's lone four-year senior.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
Enters Sunday's game as Flames' third-leading scorer. Shooting 45.4 percent from the floor and 39.6 percent from three. Has led the Flames in scoring six times, and been the leading rebounder on nine occasions. Scored 15 points against YSU at the Pavilion (1/12/13). UIC's career active leader in both rebounds and blocks.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
In Horizon League play, is the Flames' second-leading scorer (10.8 ppg) and leading rebounder (5.5 rpg). Averaging 2.3 assists per game, second-most on the team. Shooting 44.6 percent from the floor in conference play. Scored 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds against YSU on Jan. 12. Transferred to UIC from UCF in September.

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team (14-10, 5-6 Horizon) will look to secure the regular season sweep over Youngstown State (14-10, 6-5) Sunday, when the Flames travel to the Beeghly Center for a 1:00 (CST) tip-off. UIC is coming off an 86-61 loss at Valparaiso Tuesday night, while YSU edged visiting Loyola, 60-59, on Thursday.

Back on the Horizon
UIC is in its 12th season of Horizon League play - the Flames have compiled a record of 84-113 (.426) 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).

Last Time Out: Flames Drop 86-61 Decision at Valpo
First-place Valparaiso drilled 15 three-pointers en route to a convincing 86-61 win over the UIC men's basketball team in a Horizon League game at the Athletics-Recreation Center Tuesday night.

Preseason Horizon League First-Teamer Ryan Broekhoff poured in a game-high 22 points, including 19 in the first half, to lead a group of four Crusaders in double figures. Seniors Josh Crittle and Daniel Barneseach scored 12 points to lead UIC's offensive effort.

Valpo led 44-27 at halftime, with Broekhoff exploding for 19 points, including nine in the final 2:06. The Crusaders finished the frame shooting 65.2 percent from the floor on 15 converted field goals.

The Crusaders outscored the Flames 42-34 in the second half and built a game-high 35-point (82:47) lead with 6:19 remaining. UIC finished the game with mostly reserves in the lineup. Freshman forward Jake Wiegandcame off the bench to score nine points (3-4) to go along with five rebounds.

Onto the Month of February
The Flames tallied winning records in each of the first three months of the season, going 5-1 in November, 4-3 in December and 5-4 in January. The last time UIC collected winning records in each of the first three months of the season was during the 2003-04 campaign, when the Flames tallied winning marks in November (5-1), December (4-3), January (6-3) and February (7-0), won the Horizon League Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Closer of the League?
Senior point guard Gary Taltonis one of the most consistent scorers in the Horizon League - he enters Sunday's game ranked 10th in the conference in scoring (14.0 ppg) during League play. But where Talton has especially shined this season has been down the stretch of games, particularly in the final 4:00. In UIC's five Horizon League wins, after the final media timeout, Talton is shooting 88.9 percent (8-9) from floor, 100 percent (3-3) from three-point range and 88.2 percent (15-17) from free throw line. That includes the game-winning basket against Loyola (1/16/13) with 1.7 seconds remaining, and the go-ahead field goal against Milwaukee (1/23/13) with just 1:35 left.

Turning it Around
UIC's turnaround this season has been notable. The Flames enter Sunday's game with 14 wins, six more than the 2011-12 campaign, including five victories in Horizon League play. With one more conference win, UIC would double its entire HL win total from last season. The Flames' six-game improvement over last year equals the seventh-best turnaround through games on Feb. 7. 2012-13 records are bolded.

Team: 2011-12/2012-13/+W's
Bryant: 2-28/16-6, +14
Canisius: 5-25/15-9, +10
Towson: 1-31/13-12, +12
Santa Clara: 8-22/17-8, +9
Arizona State: 10-21/18-5, +8
Bradley: 7-25/14-10, +7
UIC: 8-22/14-10, +6
Loyola-Chicago: 7-23/13-11, +6

In the Land of Lincoln, Too...
UIC enters this weekend's slate of games with the third-most wins (14) among the 13 Division I schools in the state of Illinois. The Flames are 4-1 against in-state foes this season.

Team: Overall/Conference
Western Illinois: 18-5/10-2 (Summit League)
Illinois: 16-8/3-7 (Big Ten)
UIC: 14-10/5-6 (Horizon)
Bradley: 14-10/6-6 (Missouri Valley)
Illinois State: 14-10/5-7 (Missouri Valley)
Northwestern: 13-10/4-6 (Big Ten)
Loyola: 13-11/3-8 (Horizon)
DePaul: 10-12/1-8 (Big East)
Southern Illinois: 9-14/2-10 (Missouri Valley)
SIU-Edwardsville: 8-12/4-6 (Ohio Valley)
Eastern Illinois: 7-17/4-7 (Ohio Valley)
Chicago State: 7-16/2-2 (Great West)
Northern Illinois: 5-16/3-6 (Mid-American)

What to Watch For
Two of the Horizon League's most prolific three-point shooters. Youngstown State's Blake Allen and UIC's Daniel Barnesare the respective second and third-ranked three-point specialists in the League. Barnes has made 50 threes on the season, and drilled six three-pointers in two individual games. Allen has converted 59 triples, including the game-winning three with 10.3 seconds remaining in Thursday's 60-59 win over Loyola.

With a Win Over YSU, UIC Would...
• Improve to 6-6 in Horizon League play for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign
• Collect its fourth road win of the season, including its second Horizon League road victory
• Secure the regular season sweep against the Penguins
• Double its entire Horizon League win total from the 2011-12 campaign
• Tally its first regular season win at the Beeghly Center since Feb. 2, 2006
• Secure head coach Howard Moore's30th career win

Gettin' Defensive
UIC is on its way to enjoying its most successful team defensive season in program history. As mentioned, the Flames have held nine opponents under 35 percent shooting (12 under 40 percent) - UIC has also limited seven 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 Milwaukee (1/23/13), UIC limited the Panthers to just eight second-half points, which set a new UIC Pavilion record, and was the second fewest single-half total for a UIC opponent in program history. UIC is 7-0 on the season when limiting the opposition to less than 50 points and 10-1 when holding its opponent between 30-39 percent shooting (33.3) from the field.

Converting the Freebies
UIC enters Sunday's game as the Horizon League leader in free throw percentage (.758), a mark that also ranks 11th in the nationally. At the beginning of Horizon League play, UIC put together a pair of flawless efforts from the free throw line against Valpo (18-18; Jan. 9) and Green Bay (8-8; Jan. 12).

Scouting the Penguins
Youngstown State is 14-10 on the season, with a 6-5 Horizon League record. Junior guard Kendrick Perry is averaging a team-high 16.1 points per game, which ranks third in the Horizon League. Senior forward Damian Eargle is scoring 12.1 points to go along with 6.5 rebounds per game - he leads the Horizon League with 82 total blocks. Blake Allen is scoring 10.7 points per contest and has 74 assists against just 27 turnovers. The Penguins, who are mentored by eighth-year head coach Jerry Slocum, are 8-2 at the Beeghly Center this season.

Standout Newcomer in the Middle
Senior center Josh Crittleisn't new to Division I college basketball, but he is new to the Horizon League, and is one of the candidates for the Newcomer of the Year Award. The first-year transfer from UCF is averaging 10.8 ppg and 5.5 rpg in Horizon League play, while shooting 44.6 percent (45-101) from the floor. His rebounding numbers rank second among all Horizon League newcomers.

Seeking the Winning Formula
In the 14 UIC victories this season, the Flames have held their opponents to just 51.8 points per game and 35.7 percent shooting, and dished out an average of 12.9 assists per game. However, in the 10 losses, UIC opponents are shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and scoring an average of 74.1 points per contest. Additionally, in the setbacks, the Flames have distributed 10.6 assists per game.

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 61.1 points per game, which would represent the lowest point average for its opponents in school history, and ranks 58th among the 345 Division I teams in the country.
• UIC currently ranks 11th in the nation in free throw percentage, at 75.8 percent. The Flames have shot 75 percent or better from the charity stripe in 15 games this season.
• The Flames are averaging only 11.7 turnovers per game, which ranks 39th nationally. UIC has turned the ball over on just 18.4 percent of its possessions.
• When UIC holds its opponent between 30-39 percent shooting, the Flames are 10-1 on the season. UIC is also 9-1 when leading at halftime, and 6-1 when out-rebounding its opponents.
• The Flames are 3-7 on the road this season, with non-conference road wins over Northern Illinois (11/27/12) and Northwestern (12/1/12), and a Horizon League victory at Wright State (1/26/13).

Even More on the Flames
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is averaging a team-high 13.0 points per game, with a total of 312 points on the season. He is also the team leader in steals (39), free throws made (93) and free throw percentage (.861) - Talton is shooting at an 86.4 percent clip from the charity stripe for his two-year career.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 11.0 points per game. He has posted 13 double-digit scoring outputs, including 14 points against Cleveland State last Saturday, and 12 tallies at Valparaiso Tuesday night.
• To go along with his 10.3 points per contest, junior forward Hayden Humes is averaging a team-high 5.3 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from three.
• Senior center Josh Crittle is averaging 10.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game on a 44.6 percent (45-101) effort from the field during Horizon League play. The UCF transfer has scored in double figures in eight-of the Flames' 11 conference games.
• UIC returns four starters (Talton, Barnes, Marc 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 against teams that made appearances in the 2012 postseason, including four NCAA Tournament foes. The Flames are 2-2 this season against 2012 NCAA Tournament participants.
• 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.

What's Trending?
• Senior wing Anthony Kelley has started the past seven games after seeing action in just four-of the first 17 contests. During that stretch, Kelley is averaging 5.9 ppg and 4.9 rpg in an average of 25.1 minutes per contest.
• Dating back to last season, senior point guard Gary Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 26-of the last 31 contests. He had his 10-game streak of scoring in double figures snapped at Valpo Tuesday night.
• Sophomore guard Joey Miller has started four-of the last six games after coming off the bench in each of the first 18 contests.
• Over the last three contests, four UIC players (Crittle; 12.7 ppg, junior forward Hayden Humes; 11.3, senior guard Daniel Barnes; 11.0 and Talton; 10.7) are all scoring in double figures.

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 Crittlewas named the Horizon League Newcomer of the Week (1/7/13) for the second time after scoring 14 points and pulling down seven rebounds in UIC's 65-60 win over Youngstown State (1/2/13).

Last Time Against Youngstown State
Senior point guard Gary Taltonscored a game-high 19 points, including eight in the final 2:33, leading the UIC men's basketball team to a 65-60 win over Youngstown State in the Horizon League opener for both teams on Jan. 2 at the Pavilion. UIC held the Penguins to just a 37.0 percent output from the field.

Talton's 19 points came on seven field goals -he also handed out six assists against just one turnover, and pulled down four rebounds. Junior forward Hayden Humes added 15 points and seven rebounds, and senior center Josh Crittle chipped in 14 points to go along with seven boards. Senior guard Daniel Barnescontributed 10 points and seven rebounds. YSU was led by Kendrick Perry, who poured in 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting.

UIC posted a 42-33 advantage on the boards and dished out 16 team assists (23 field goals) for the second-straight game. The Flames scored 19 points off turnovers in a game that featured a combined 27 ties and lead changes.

Talton hit the go-ahead three with just 17 seconds left (62-60), and went 3-for-4 from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the come-from-behind victory.