Game #29: Flames Host Wright State in Key Horizon League Battle

Junior forward Hayden Humes
Junior forward Hayden Humes

UIC vs. Wright State Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Feb. 25, 2013

Game #29: Flames Host Wright State in Key HL Showdown Tuesday
UIC Flames (15-13/6-8 HL) vs. Wright State Raiders (18-10, 9-5 Horizon)
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 • UIC Pavilion • 7:00 p.m. CST
Audio/Video: League Network
HLN Talent: Justin Weiner (Play-by-Play)/Kenny Williams (Color Commentary)
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 30-59 (3rd season)
Wright State Head Coach: Billy Donlon • Record at WSU/Overall: 50-44 (3rd season)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

The Last Meeting
Wright State49
January 26, 2013
Dayton, Ohio
Flames Grind Out Road Win at Wright State, 55-49
Senior point guard Gary Talton scored a game-high 18 points, including an 11-of-14 effort from the free throw line in the second half, helping lead the UIC men's basketball team to its first Horizon League road win, 55-49 over Wright State in front of 8,065 fans at the Nutter Center Saturday night.

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 14.3 ppg. Has scored in double figures 23 times this season, and 44 times during his two-year career. Topped the career 700-point plateau 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 fifth-best 58 three-point field goals on the season. Ranks eighth on UIC's all-time three-point field goals list (126). Averaged a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season. The Flames' career-active leader in games played (61).

#10 Marc Brown • SF
Has played in 27-of-28 games, and made 18 starts. Can defend multiple positions. Over the past four games, is averaging 11.5 ppg on a 48.4 percent (15-31) effort from the floor with three double-digit scoring outputs. Scored exactly 200 points in freshman season (2011-12).

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
The Flames' fourth-leading scorer. Shooting 44.7 percent from the floor and 39.6 percent from three. Has led the Flames in scoring six times, and been the leading rebounder on 10 occasions. Cleared 700 points 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: Wright State leads, 23-22
Wright State holds a slim 23-22 lead over UIC in the all-time series. Dating back to the 2006-07 season, Wright State has won 11-of the last 13 meetings. The Raiders have won three-straight games over the Flames at the Pavilion, dating back to the 2009-10 campaign.

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team (15-13, 6-8 Horizon) will look to complete the regular season sweep over Wright State (18-10, 9-5) Tuesday, when the Raiders visit the Pavilion for a key Horizon League match-up. The Flames defeated WSU at the Nutter Center (55-49) on Jan. 26, picking up their first Horizon League road win of the season.

Last Time Out: Flames Suffer Heartbreaking Loss versus Bradley
The UIC men's basketball team led for more than 32 minutes, including the first 18 minutes of the second half, but Bradley escaped with a 63-62 win over the Flames in a BracketBusters game at the Pavilion Saturday afternoon. BU's Jake Eastman converted a put-back with just one second remaining; erasing what was a double-digit for the Flames in the second half.

With the loss, the Flames dropped to 15-13 on the season. Bradley improves to 16-13 overall. Senior guard Daniel Barnes scored a team-high 18 points on seven field goals, and was joined in double figures by sophomore wing Marc Brown(13 points). Bradley's Walt Lemon Jr. led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting.

UIC led 54-43 with 5:41 remaining, but didn't convert another field goal until the 1:57 mark. During that stretch, Bradley went on a 14-4 run to claim a one-point (59-58) lead with 2:13 remaining. The Braves corralled eight offensive rebounds in the final 3:53, leading to eight points.

Senior point guard Gary Taltoncontinued his late-game heroics, converting a spinning layup with 37.8 seconds remaining to give UIC a 62-61 lead. But Eastman converted the game-winner after UIC failed to squeeze a pair of defensive rebounds.

Brown blocked Dyricus Simms-Edwards' shot with 20 seconds left, but Simms Edwards tracked down his own miss. Lemon Jr. then missed a contested perimeter jumper from the right wing, but Shayok Shayok grabbed the carom after a scrum on the floor - he dished the ball off to Eastman, who laid the ball in from the right baseline. Talton's last second half-court shot did not draw iron.

Last Time Against Wright State
Senior point guard Gary Taltonscored a game-high 18 points, including an 11-of-14 effort from the free throw line in the second half, helping lead the UIC men's basketball team to its first Horizon League road win, 55-49 over Wright State in front of 8,065 fans at the Nutter Center on Jan. 26.

UIC played 40 minutes of gritty defense, holding the Raiders to just 33.3 percent shooting, including a 23.8 percent output in the first half. The Flames led by 14 points twice in the game, but were forced to hold off Wright State's second half rally - the Raiders sliced UIC's lead to just three points three times in the final 4:34, but never took the lead.

To go along with his 18 points, Talton pulled down six rebounds and dished out five assists. He was joined in double figures by senior center Josh Crittle, who chipped in 11 points. Wright State leading scorer Cole Darling scored 11 points - he was the lone Raider in double figures.

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 tonight's contest against Wright State. UIC will challenge Detroit at the Pavilion on Saturday afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m. Senior Day festivities will be held prior to the contest.

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).

Closer of the League?
Senior point guard Gary Taltonis one of the most consistent scorers in the Horizon League - he enters Tuesday'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 Tuesday'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 10th-largest when factoring in a team's difference in overall winning percentage.

In the Land of Lincoln, Too...
As of Feb. 24, UIC owns the fifth-most wins (15) among the 13 Division I schools in the state of Illinois. The Flames are 4-3 against in-state foes this season.

With a Win Over Wright State, UIC Would...
• Clinch at least the No. 6 seed in next week's Horizon League Tournament, and secure home-court advantage in the first-round on Tuesday, March 5
• Collect its 16th win of the season, the most since the 2008-09 campaign
• Move to 7-8 in Horizon League play with one regular season game remaining
• Improve to 10-3 at the Pavilion this season
• Secure the regular season sweep against the Raiders
• Break a three-game home losing streak to WSU

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 Tuesday's game as the Horizon League leader in free throw percentage (.756), a mark that also ranks 14th 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 Raiders
Wright State, who was picked ninth in the preseason Horizon League poll, is 18-10 on the season, with a 9-5 mark in Horizon League play - the Raiders enters Tuesday's game tied for third-place in the League standings with Green Bay. Junior forward Cole Darling and sophomore guard Reggie Arceneaux have teamed to spearhead WSU's offensive attack, averaging 11.3 and 9.7 points per game, respectively.

One of the best defensive teams in the Horizon League, Wright State leads the League in scoring defense (58.6 ppg) and three-point field goal defense (.317) while ranking second in steals per game (7.6).

Wright State is mentored by third-year head coach Billy Donlon, a native of Northbrook, Ill.

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 13 losses, UIC opponents are shooting 47.4 percent from the floor and scoring an average of 72.1 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 14th 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 17 games this season.
• The Flames are averaging only 11.9 turnovers per game, which ranks 49th 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 11-1 on the season. UIC is also 9-2 when leading at halftime, and 7-1 when out-rebounding its opponents.
• The Flames are 9-3 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 13.1 points per game, with a total of 366 points on the season. He is also the team leader in assists (116), steals (43), free throws made (106) and free throw percentage (.855).
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 11.3 points per game. He has posted 15 double-digit scoring outputs, including a game-high 16 points against Bradley last Saturday.
• 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 Tuesday's game as the Flames' leading rebounder in all games (5.4 rpg).
• To go along with his 9.9 points per contest, junior forward Hayden Humesis averaging 5.3 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 39.6 percent (42-106) from three.

Rebounding From the Perimeter
Senior guard Daniel Barnesenters Tuesday's game against Wright State as the Flames' fourth-leading rebounder - he is pulling down 3.8 rebounds per game from the shooting guard position. He has been the Flames' leading rebounder in each of the past two contests, with eight boards at Milwaukee (2/20/13) and five caroms last Saturday against Bradley. Barnes, who is just two rebounds shy of 200 for his UIC career (198), has pulled down six or more rebounds on seven occasions this season.

What's Trending?
• Sophomore wing Marc Brown is averaging 11.5 points per game over the past four contests, while shooting 48.4 percent (15-31) from the field. He chipped in 13 points against Bradley last Saturday.
• Over the last five games, freshman forward Jake Wiegand is averaging 12.6 minutes per game off the bench. During that stretch, Wiegand has shot 64.7 percent (11-15) from the field. He chipped in eight points on 4-of-5 shooting in 14 minutes of action against Bradley.
• Dating back to last season, senior point guard Gary Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 29-of the last 35 contests, including in 13-of the last 15 games. Talton has also averaged 6.5 assists per game over the past four contests.
• Senior center Josh Crittlehas been limited to single-digit scoring performances in each-of the past three games for the first time this season.

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).