Game #28: Flames Host Bradley for BracketBusters Saturday

Senior point guard Gary Talton
Senior point guard Gary Talton

Feb. 22, 2013

UIC vs. Bradley Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Game #28: Flames Host Bradley for BracketBusters Saturday
UIC Flames (15-12/6-8 HL) at Bradley Braves (15-13, 7-9 MVC)
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 • UIC Pavilion • 3:00 p.m. CST
Radio: ESPN Chicago/ (Dave Juday/Kenny Williams/Jonathan Hood)
Television: Comcast SportsNet Chicago (Jordan Bernfield/David Kaplan)
Live Video: Horizon League Network
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 30-58 (3rd season)
Bradley Head Coach: Geno Ford • Record at BU/Overall: 22-38 (2nd season)/141-107 (8th)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

The Last Meeting
November 14, 2008
Peoria, Ill.
Men's Basketball Falls To Bradley In Season Opener, 67-61
Peoria, Ill.- Robo Kreps' career-high 24 points and Scott VanderMeer's double-double were not enough as the UIC men's basketball team suffered a 67-61 road defeat at the hands of Bradley in the season opener for both teams at Carver Arena on Friday night.


#4 Gary Talton • PG
The Flames' leading scorer and third-leading rebounder. In Horizon League games, is averaging a League 10th-best 14.3 ppg. Has scored in double figures 23 times this season, and 44 times during his two-year career. Topped the career 700-point plateau (707) Wednesday at Milwaukee. Member of the 2012 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.

#1 Daniel Barnes • SG
The Flames' second-leading scorer. Has drilled a Horizon League fourth-best 56 three-point field goals on the season. Ranks eighth on UIC's all-time three-point field goals list (124). Averaged a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season. The Flames' career-active leader in games played (60).

#10 Marc Brown • SF
Has played in 26-of-27 games, and made 17 starts. Tallied his first start since Jan. 9 at Milwaukee. Can defend multiple positions. Over the past three games, is averaging 11.0 ppg on a 50.0 percent (12-24) effort from the floor. Scored exactly 200 points in freshman season (2011-12).

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
The Flames' fourth-leading scorer. Shooting 44.8 percent from the floor and 40.4 percent from three. Has led the Flames in scoring six times, and been the leading rebounder on 10 occasions. Cleared 700 points (704) for his Division I career at Milwaukee. 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 (5.8 rpg). Averaging 2.1 assists per game, second-most on the team. Shooting 44.2 percent from the floor in conference play. Has posted a pair of double-doubles on the season. Transferred to UIC from UCF in September.

Series Information: Bradley leads, 3-1
Bradley owns a 3-1 all-time series lead versus UIC. The two squads will be meeting for the first time since the 2008-09 season opener (11/14/08). The Braves will be making their first trip to the Pavilion since the 2007-08 campaign (11/10/07).

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team (15-12, 6-8 Horizon) will return to the confines of the UIC Pavilion for the first time in more than three weeks Saturday, when the Flames take a break from Horizon League play to host in-state rival Bradley (15-13, 7-9 Missouri Valley) in a Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters game beginning at 3:00 p.m. UIC, which is 9-2 at the Pavilion this season, hasn't played a home game since Saturday, Feb. 2.

Last Time Out: Flames Fall at Milwaukee, 64-53
The UIC men's basketball team wrapped up its four-game road trip with a 64-53 loss against Milwaukee Wednesday night at the Klotsche Center. The Panthers' Paris Gulley poured in a game-high 17 points on five three-pointers on Senior Night.

With the loss, the Flames dropped to 15-12 on the season, with a 6-8 Horizon League record. Milwaukee improved to 7-22 and 3-12. UIC will play its final three regular season games at the Pavilion, including Horizon League contests against Wright State (2/26/13) and Detroit (3/2/13).

Senior point guard Gary Taltonwas the lone Flame in double figures, scoring 13 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. Gulley's 17 points led all scorers - he was 5-of-8 from three-point range.

Sophomore wing Marc Browndrilled a three-pointer out of a timeout with 3:22 left, pulling UIC within just five, 51-46 (3:22). But the Panthers did not allow UIC to convert another field goal until the final minute, after the Flames fell behind by double-digits again.

BracketBusters Tidbits
UIC boasts an 8-1 all-time record in the BracketBusters series, including a 6-2 mark in BracketBusters return games. The Flames defeated host Eastern Illinois, 67-63, in the BracketBusters game last February (2/18/12). Saturday's contest will mark UIC's first BracketBusters home game since Feb. 21, 2009, when the Flames outlasted Southern Illinois at the Pavilion, 74-67.

• UIC 83, Bowling Green 72
February 22, 2003 • UIC Pavilion

• UIC 77, UNC-Wilmington 52
February 21, 2004 • UIC Pavilion

• UIC 92, Georgia Southern 83
February 19, 2005 • UIC Pavilion

• Murray State 72, UIC 68
February 18, 2006 • Regional Special Events Center

• UIC 84, Central Michigan 62
February 17, 2007 • UIC Pavilion

• UIC 70, Northern Iowa 58
February 23, 2008 • McLeod Center

• UIC 74, Southern Illinois 67
February 21, 2009 • UIC Pavilion

• UIC 82, Evansville 80
February 20, 2010 • Roberts Stadium

• UIC 67, Eastern Illinois 63
February 18, 2012 • Lantz Arena

Magic Number: 1
With one more Horizon League win, UIC would clinch at least the No. 6 seed in the upcoming Horizon League Tournament, and host a first-round game on Tuesday, March 5. The Flames will finish the regular season on a two-game homestand, beginning with next Tuesday's (Feb. 26) contest against Wright State (7:00 p.m.). UIC defeated the Raiders at the Nutter Center (55-49) on Jan. 26, clinching its first Horizon League road win of the season.

Familiar Foes
UIC head coach Howard Moore and Associate Head Coach Al Biancalanaare definitely not strangers to the Bradley basketball program. Moore (2000-05) and Biancalana (1999-05) broke into the Division I coaching ranks by serving as assistants on Jim Molinari's staff when he was the head coach at Bradley. With the Braves, Molinari (now the head coach at Western Illinois) amassed a 174-152 record and guided the program to the postseason six times.

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 Saturday's game ranked 11th in the conference in scoring (14.4 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 regulation time of UIC's six Horizon League wins, after the final media timeout, Talton is shooting 81.8 percent (9-11) 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, go-ahead field goals against both Youngstown State (1/2/13; 17 seconds remaining) and Milwaukee (1/23/13; 1:35 remaining), and the shot that forced overtime (0.8 seconds) on Feb. 5 at YSU.

Turning it Around
UIC's turnaround this season has been notable. The Flames enter Saturday's game with 15 wins, seven more than the 2011-12 campaign, including six victories in Horizon League play. The Flames' turnaround this season is the nation's ninth-largest when factoring in a team's difference in overall winning percentage. A summary of the top-10 turnarounds in Division I men's basketball this season is below.

In the Land of Lincoln, Too...
As of Feb. 22, UIC owns the fourth-most wins (15) among the 13 Division I schools in the state of Illinois. The Flames are 4-2 against in-state foes this season.

With a Win Over Bradley, UIC Would...
• Improve to 10-2 at the Pavilion this season
• Secure its 16th win of the season, the most since the 2008-09 campaign
• Wrap up non-conference regular season play with a 10-4 record
• Improve to 9-1 all-time in BracketBusters games
• Move to 5-2 this season against in-state foes

Gettin' Defensive
UIC is on its way to enjoying its most successful team defensive season in program history. The Flames have held 10 opponents under 35 percent shooting, and limited the opposition to less than a 40.0 percent effort in 13 games. 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 11-1 when holding its opponent between 30-39 percent shooting from the field.

Converting the Freebies
UIC enters Saturday's game as the Horizon League leader in free throw percentage (.756), a mark that also ranks 11th nationally. At the beginning of HL play, UIC recorded back-to-back flawless efforts from the free throw line against Valpo (18-18; Jan. 9) and Green Bay (8-8; Jan. 12).

Scouting the Braves
Bradley, a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, is 15-13 on the season, with a 7-9 mark in league games - the Braves have dropped three-of their last four, but posted an 8-4 record in non-conference play during the months of November and December. Junior guard Walt Lemon Jr., who attended Julian High School in the Windy City, is averaging a team-high 15.3 points per game and has handed out a team-best 99 assists. Senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards is scoring 12.6 ppg, while junior forward Tyshon Pickett has chipped in 11.3 ppg to go along with a team-high 5.7 rebounds per contest.

Bradley leads The Valley in steals per game (9.8 spg), and ranks second overall in turnover margin (+3.5) - the Braves are forcing their opponents into an average of 15.6 turnovers per contest. Bradley is currently tied for sixth-place (7-9) in the MVC standings alongside rival Illinois State. With a top-six finish in The Valley's regular season, Bradley would avoid a first-round play-in game in "Arch Madness," the postseason MVC Tournament at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

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 5.8 rpg in Horizon League play, while shooting 44.2 percent (54-119) from the floor. His rebounding numbers rank second among all Horizon League newcomers.

Seeking the Winning Formula
In the 15 UIC victories this season, the Flames have held their opponents to just 53.9 points per game and 35.4 percent shooting, and dished out an average of 13.1 assists per game. However, in the 12 losses, UIC opponents are shooting 48.1 percent from the floor and scoring an average of 72.8 points per contest.

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 62.3 points per game, which would represent the lowest point average for its opponents in school history.
• UIC currently ranks 11th in the nation in free throw percentage, at 75.6 percent. The Flames have shot 75.0 percent or better from the charity stripe in 16 games this season.
• The Flames are averaging only 11.8 turnovers per game, which ranks 48th nationally. UIC has turned the ball over on just 18.3 percent of its possessions.
• When UIC holds its opponent between 30-39 percent shooting, the Flames are 11-1 on the season. UIC is also 9-1 when leading at halftime, and 7-1 when out-rebounding its opponents.
• The Flames are 9-2 at the Pavilion this season, with notable home wins over No. 21/22 Colorado State (12/8/12), Loyola (1/16/13) and Green Bay (1/31/13).

Even More on the Flames
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is averaging a team-high 13.3 points per game, with a total of 358 points on the season. He is also the team leader in assists (113), steals (42), free throws made (106) and free throw percentage (.855).
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 11.0 points per game. He has posted 14 double-digit scoring outputs.
• Senior center Josh Crittle is averaging 10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game during Horizon League play. The UCF transfer has scored in double figures in nine-of the Flames' 14 conference games, and enters Saturday's game as the Flames' leading rebounder in all games (5.4 rpg).
• To go along with his 10.1 points per contest, junior forward Hayden Humesis averaging a team-high 5.4 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 40.4 percent (42-104) from three.

What's Trending?
• Sophomore wing Marc Brown is averaging 11.1 points per game over the past three contests, while shooting 50.0 percent (12-24) from the field.
• Dating back to last season, senior point guard Gary Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 29-of the last 34 contests, including in 13-of the last 14 games. Talton has also averaged 7.7 assists per game over the past three contests.
• Senior center Josh Crittlehas been limited to single-digit scoring performances in each-of the past two games for the first time since mid-January (Jan. 19 at Detroit, Jan. 23 vs. Milwaukee).

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 after scoring 14 points and pulling down seven rebounds in UIC's 65-60 win over Youngstown State (1/2/13).