Feb. 24, 2012
► UIC will look to avenge its Dec. 1 loss to Green Bay on Saturday, when the Flames challenge the Phoenix in the regular season Horizon League finale for both teams at the Pavilion beginning at 1:00 p.m. CST. UIC is coming off a 72-61 loss against visiting Milwaukee Thursday night, while Green Bay outlasted Loyola, 73-70 in overtime.
► UIC will look to secure the regular-season split versus Green Bay -- the Phoenix posted a 71-68 win over the Flames at the Resch Center on Dec. 1.
► The Flames are in sole possession of ninth place in the League standings, while Green Bay is currently seventh. UIC has clinched the No. 9 seed in next week's Horizon League Tournament, while the Phoenix will occupy either the No. 6 or No. 7 seed, depending on the outcome of Saturday's slate of games.
► Saturday's game marks the final contest at the UIC Pavilion for seniors Matt Bush, Paris Carter, Dorian Tyler and Darrin Williams. The quartet has played in a combined 168 games over the past two seasons. Williams is the Flames' career active leader in points, rebounds and blocks.
► NEXT UP: UIC will begin its postseason run in the first-round of the Horizon League Tournament next Tuesday (Feb. 28) against an undetermined opponent (the No. 4 seed). Stay tuned to UICFlames.com and HorizonLeague.com for updates. The tournament bracket and schedule will be finalized Saturday night.
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 15th head coaching win last Saturday at Eastern Illinois.
Green Bay: Brian Wardle is in his second season as the head coach at Green Bay. From 2005-10, Wardle served as an assistant coach for the Phoenix. The Willowbrook, Ill., native was the youngest coach in the NCAA Division I ranks upon his hiring in April 2010.
ABOUT GREEN BAY
» Green Bay was picked to finish sixth in the preseason Horizon League poll, conducted by the League's head coaches, media panel and sports information directors.
» Preseason All-Horizon League honoree Alec Brown is leading the Phoenix in scoring (13.6 points per game), rebounds (8.0 rpg) and blocks per game (3.1), while shooting 44.9 percent from the field.
» Keifer Sykes, the first freshman to begin the season as Green Bay's starting point guard since 2007, ranks 15th in the League in scoring (10.7 ppg) and eighth in assists per game (3.3). Sykes prepped at Marshall High School in the Chicago Public League -- he is one-of five Windy City natives on Green Bay's roster.
» The Phoenix are 2-12 on the road this season, including a 2-6 Horizon League road record. Green Bay defeated Wright State (53-48) at the Nutter Center on Feb. 10, and edged Loyola in overtime (73-70) Thursday night.
SCOUTING THE FLAMES
UIC boasts two-of the Horizon League's top-20 scorers, in junior point guard Gary Talton (11.9 ppg; 12th) and junior guard Daniel Barnes (10.6; 17th) ... Senior center Darrin Williams ranks seventh in the League in rebounding (6.3 rpg), fourth in blocks (1.5 bpg) and fifth overall in field goal percentage (.551) ... Talton leads the Horizon League in free throw percentage (.864), and is sixth in assists (3.3 apg) ... Barnes is averaging 2.2 three-point field goals per game, the third-best mark in the League, and ranks sixth in the Horizon League in steals (1.4 spg) ... Sophomore forward Hayden Humesranks seventh in the League in three-point field goal percentage (.404) ... Talton is scoring a Horizon League seventh-best 13.7 points per League game ... The Flames are 7-6 at home this season, including a 3-5 Horizon League home record ... At the Pavilion, UIC is averaging 60.6 points per game while shooting 40.5 percent from the field, including a 38.0 percent mark from three-point range ... Talton (12.5 ppg), Barnes (11.7 ppg) and Williams (10.2 ppg) are all averaging double figures in scoring in games at the Pavilion.
Green Bay leads the all-time series against UIC, 48-35. Since 2004-05, the Phoenix has controlled the match-up, winning 12 out of the last 16 contests. UIC has won two-straight over Green Bay at the Pavilion, dating back to the 2009-10 campaign.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
With a win over Green Bay, UIC would...
» Collect its ninth win of the season, tying for the most single-season victories since the 2009-10 campaign, and double its Horizon League win total (2) from last season.
» Improve to 8-6 at the UIC Pavilion this season, and record its fourth Horizon League home win.
» Secure the regular season split versus the Phoenix for the third-straight year.
» Improve to 3-5 during the month of February.
As mentioned, UIC will occupy the No. 9 seed in next week's Horizon League Tournament, as the No. 1, and 8-10 seeds are all locked in. The No. 2-7 seeds, however, all are still up for grabs. A myriad of scenarios could see the Flames face Butler, Cleveland State, Detroit, Youngstown State or Milwaukee in next Tuesday's (Feb. 28) opening round on the campus site of the No. 4 seed. For a full list of scenarios, visit HorizonLeague.com.
LAST TIME AGAINST GREEN BAY
UIC's starting backcourt of Daniel Barnes and Gary Taltoncombined to score 31 points, and the UIC men's basketball team held the lead with less than two minutes remaining, but host Green Bay finished the game on a 6-2 run, escaping with a 71-68 win over the Flames in the Horizon League opener for both teams at the Resch Center on Dec. 1. Barnes scored a game-high 17 points, all in the second half, including four three-pointers -- he had a potential game-tying triple stripped at the buzzer. Green Bay, which led 33-26 at halftime, was paced by All-Horizon League center Alec Brown, who scored 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting.
HUMES TRENDING FORWARD
Hayden Humes, a first-year transfer from Toledo, has become one of UIC's most reliable scoring and rebounding threats heading down the stretch of the regular season. Humes has posted double-digit scoring outputs in five-of the last seven games, and led the Flames in rebounding in eight-of the last 10 contests.
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 14-of UIC's 17 Horizon League games, and scored in double figures 20 times overall. Of late, Talton's scoring has been bolstered by a much more efficient effort. Talton has shot at least 44 percent from the field in seven-of the past nine games -- over the last four contests, Talton is 30-of-64 (.469) from the floor.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?
Down the stretch of his debut season, freshman Marc Brownhas settled in nicely to the sights and sounds of the UIC Pavilion. Five-of Brown's six double-digit scoring outputs have taken place at the Pavilion, including his game-high 17 points on five-three-pointers Thursday night versus Milwaukee. Brown enters Saturday's game just seven points short (193) of becoming UIC's fifth player this season to score at least 200 points.
LEADER OF THE PACK
Senior center Darrin Williams, who will be playing his final home game at the UIC Pavilion Saturday afternoon, eclipsed the 400-point plateau for his career with 11 points against Milwaukee Thursday night. He has posted 16 double-digit scoring outputs this season, including three double-doubles.
DOWN TO THE WIRE...
UIC's men's basketball team has seen no shortage of nail biters this season, playing a total of 12 games decided by five points or less -- the Flames have held second-half leads in 10-of their 20 losses this season.
SEEKING THE WINNING FORMULA
When comparing the Flames' stats in wins and losses, the differences on the boards and in their team defense are noteworthy. In victory, UIC is holding its opponents to only 39.8 percent shooting, while losses have seen the Flames' opponents shoot 47.8 percent from the field. In wins, UIC owns a +5.4 rebounding margin, but just a -0.1 margin in defeat.