Game #32: Flames Take on Green Bay in HL Quarterfinals Friday Night

Senior center Josh Crittle
Senior center Josh Crittle

March 7, 2013

Game Notes: #5 UIC vs. #4 Green BayGet Acrobat Reader

Game #32: Flames Take on Green Bay in HL Quarterfinals
2013 Horizon League Championship Second Round

#5 UIC Flames (17-14/7-9 HL) vs. #4 Green Bay Phoenix (17-14, 10-6 HL)
Friday, March 8, 2013 • ARC (Valparaiso, Ind.) • 7:30 p.m. CST
Audio: (Webcast): Justin Weiner (Play-by-Play)/Kenny Williams (Color) Live Video: Horizon League Network
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 32-60 (3rd season)
Green Bay Head Coach: Brian Wardle • Record at Green Bay/Overall: 46-47 (3rd season)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

The Last Meeting
Green Bay57
January 31, 2013
UIC Pavilion
Flames Knock Off Green Bay for Third-Straight HL Win, 60-57
Senior center Josh Crittle drained a pair of free throws with just 16 seconds remaining, helping the UIC men's basketball team erase a late-game deficit to defeat visiting Green Bay, 60-57, in a Horizon League game at the Pavilion Thursday night. With the victory, the Flames improved to 9-1 at home on the season, and tallied their first three-game Horizon League winning streak since the 2008-09 campaign.

UIC's Last Game Starters
#4 Gary Talton • PG
Named Second-Team All-Horizon League on Monday. The Flames' leading scorer and third-leading rebounder. In Horizon League games, averaged a League 11th-best 13.3 ppg. Has scored in double figures 24 times this season, and 45 times during his two-year career. Topped the career 700-point plateau at Milwaukee.

#1 Daniel Barnes • SG
The Flames' second-leading scorer. Has drilled a Horizon League third-best 72 three-point field goals on the season. Ranks eighth on UIC's all-time three-point field goals list (140). Has converted a combined 16 triples in the past four games. The Flames' career-active leader in games played (63).

#20 Anthony Kelley • SF
Has started 10-of the last 13 games. Poured in a career-high 15 points last Saturday against Detroit on Senior Day. Chipped in eight points in 30 minutes of action in the Flames' 60-57 win over Green Bay on Jan. 31. Did not play against the Phoenix at the Resch Center on Jan. 12. The Flames' lone four-year senior.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
Native of Valparaiso, Ind. The Flames' fourth-leading scorer. Shooting 41.2 percent from the floor and 39.0 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
Named to the Horizon League's All-Newcomer Team on Monday. In HL play, was the Flames' third-leading scorer (10.2 ppg) and leading rebounder (5.6 rpg). Averaging 2.0 assists per game, second-most on the team. Poured in a career-high 20 points, including a 10-of-12 effort from the free throw line against CSU on Tuesday. Transferred to UIC from UCF in September.

Series Information: Green Bay leads, 50-36
Green Bay leads the all-time series against UIC, 50-36. Since 2004-05, the Phoenix has controlled the match-up, winning 14 of the last 19 contests. The Flames and Green Bay split the regular season series this year, with both teams winning on their respective home court.

Setting the Scene
The fifth-seeded UIC men's basketball team (17-14) will look to advance to the Horizon League Tournament Semifinals for the first time since the 2003-04 season Friday, when the Flames take on No. 4 Green Bay (17-14) in the second round beginning at 7:30 p.m. CST at the ARC in Valparaiso, Ind. UIC advanced to the quarterfinals with an 82-59 win over Cleveland State on Tuesday night, while Green Bay defeated rival Milwaukee, 62-46.

Tourney Tidbits
UIC captured Horizon League Tournament Championships at the conclusion of the 2001-02 and 2003-04 campaigns, garnering the League's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament ... Since the official inception of the Horizon League prior to the 2001-02 season, the Flames have compiled a 12-8 record in Horizon League Tournament games ... As mentioned, UIC last advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League Championship in 2004 - the Flames went on to capture the tournament championship ... The Flames' most common opponent in the Horizon League Tournament has been Milwaukee, whom UIC has taken on six times in the postseason.

UIC vs. Green Bay in the HL Tourney
Since UIC became an NCAA Division I member, the Flames and Green Bay have gone head-to-head three times in the postseason, with the Pheonix owning a 2-1 edge. The first postseason meeting between UIC and Green Bay was at the conclusion of the 1992-93 season, in the first-round of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. Since the official inception of the Horizon League, the Flames and Phoenix have met just once in the postseason, with Green Bay capturing a 76-66 win in the second round at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee on March 3, 2006.

Last Time Out: Flames Pull Away from Cleveland State, 82-59
The fifth-seeded UIC men's basketball team jumped out on No. 8 Cleveland State early, and saw five players score in double figures, leading to an 82-59 win over the Vikings in the first-round of the Horizon League Tournament at the Pavilion Tuesday night. With the win, UIC advanced to the quarterfinals, and improved to 17-14 on the season, the most overall wins since the 2007-08 campaign (18).

Senior center Josh Crittle was a force inside, scoring a game and career-high 20 points, including a 10-for-12 effort from the free throw line. Senior guard Daniel Barnes continued his torrid shooting from three-point range, scoring 16 points on four three-pointers. Senior point guard Gary Talton chipped in 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, while junior forward Hayden Humes and sophomore wing Marc Brownboth scored 10 points. CSU was led by point guard Charlie Lee, who scored 17 points on 5-of-16 shooting.

The Flames shot 49.1 percent (27-55) from the floor, their most efficient offensive effort of the season. UIC also tied its team season-high with seven blocks. Ten players cracked the scoring column for the Flames.

Talton, Crittle Collect All-Horizon League Honors
Senior point guard Gary Talton was named Second-Team All-Horizon League on Monday, while senior center Josh Crittle was recognized as a member of the All-Newcomer Team. Talton represents the Flames' first all-league honoree (first or second team) since Josh Mayo, who collected First-Team All-Horizon League honors in both 2008 and 2009. Crittle is the second player to receive All-Newcomer accolades under head coach Howard Moore- Talton collected the same honor last season.

Talton has posted 24 double-digit scoring outputs this season, and led the Flames in scoring on 14 occasions. He has started all 31 games and dished out five or more assists 13 times. The Dallas native is the first UIC player to capture both all-newcomer and/or first or second-team honors in a two-year career since Martell Bailey and Cedrick Banksin 2002 and 2003. Talton was named the Horizon League Co-Player of the Week on Nov. 26.

Crittle has posted 18 double-digit scoring efforts this season, including nine during Horizon League play. He led the Flames in rebounding (5.3) during the regular season, and paced UIC on the boards in 13 individual games. Crittle was twice named the Horizon League Newcomer of the Week, on Nov. 26 and Jan. 7.

This Season Against Green Bay
UIC and Green Bay split the regular season series this year, with both teams winning on their respective home court. The Phoenix posted a 53-47 win at the Resch Center on Jan. 12, while the Flames recorded a 60-57 victory at the Pavilion on Jan. 31.

At the Resch Center, UIC held Green Bay to just a 36.2 percent effort from the floor, but Alec Brown scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down eight rebounds. UIC's lone double-digit scorer was senior point guard Gary Talton, who chipped in 11 points. UIC stifled the Phoenix to just a 33.3 percent shooting effort in the second half, but the Flames finished the game with only a 34.0 percent output from the floor.

After senior guard Daniel Barnesconverted a pair of free throws at the 4:48 mark, the Flames had a 43-40 lead. But UIC was held to just two field goals down the stretch, falling behind 51-45 with 10 seconds remaining.

In the return game at the Pavilion, senior center Josh Crittle drained a pair of free throws with just 16 seconds remaining, helping the Flames erase a late-game deficit. Junior forward Hayden Humes scored a game-high 18 points on eight field goals, and pulled down nine rebounds. Crittle scored 15 points and corralled nine boards, while senior point guard Gary Taltonchipped in 10 points for his 40th career double-digit scoring output. Green Bay was led by sophomore point guard Keifer Sykes, who scored 18 points in 38 minutes. Center Alec Brown was limited to just nine points on 2-of-6 shooting.

Crittle scored UIC's final six points to preserve the come-from-behind win. With UIC trailing 57-54 after Brown's lone three-pointer, Crittle scored inside to pull UIC within 57-56 with 1:07 remaining. After UIC forced a defensive stop, Crittle was fouled with 16 seconds left, and drilled both ensuing free throws as the Flames reclaimed the lead, 58-57. He made two more freebies with just 1.8 seconds left after senior Anthony Kelleyswiped a timely steal from the hands of Sykes as the Phoenix were setting up for the final shot.

With a Win Over Green Bay, UIC Would...
• Advance to the Horizon League Tournament semifinals for the first time since the 2003-04 season
• Collect its 18th win of the season, the most since the 2007-08 campaign (18)
• Improve to 3-1 on neutral courts this season
• Win back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 26 and Jan. 31 against Wright State and Green Bay, respectively

Homeward Bound
Junior forward Hayden Humes, a Valparaiso, Ind., native that attended Valparaiso High School before beginning his Division I college basketball career, will return to his hometown for UIC's run in the Horizon League Tournament. Friday night's game will mark the third time in his UIC career that Humes has played at the ARC. Dating back to the 2011-12 season, Humes has started the last 56 games, scoring 552 points (9.0 ppg) and pulling down 328 rebounds (5.4 rpg). As mentioned, Humes is the Flames' career active leader in both rebounds and blocks.

Closer of the League?
Senior point guard Gary Taltonis one of the most consistent scorers in the Horizon League - he ended the regular season ranked 11th in the conference in scoring (13.3 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 seven Horizon League wins, after the final media timeout, Talton is shooting 69.2 percent (9-13) from floor, 60.0 percent (3-5) from three-point range and 90.4 percent (19-21) from free throw line.

What's Trending?
• UIC has out-rebounded each of its past two opponents (Detroit and Cleveland State) for the first time this season. The Flames posted a combined +17 advantage on the boards against the Titans and Vikings.
• The ninth-ranked team in the Horizon League in three-point field goal percentage, UIC has been hot from three-point distance as of late. In the past two games, the Flames are shooting 43.5 percent (20-46) from beyond the arc.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring a team-high 15.7 points and pulling down 6.0 boards per game over the last seven contests. He has also made 22 three-point field goals during that stretch (3.1 per game) at a 43.1 percent clip.
• Sophomore wing Marc Brown is averaging 9.9 points per game over the past seven contests, while shooting 44.4 percent (20-45) from the field.
• Over the last eight games, freshman forward Jake Wiegand is averaging 11.1 minutes per game off the bench. During that stretch, Wiegand has shot 60.9 percent (14-23) from the floor.
• Dating back to last season, senior point guard Gary Taltonhas tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 30-of the last 38 contests, including in 14-of the last 18 games. Talton has also averaged 6.1 assists per game (43 total assists) over the past seven contests.

Turning it Around
UIC's turnaround this season has been notable. The Flames enter Friday's game with 17 wins, more than double their total from the 2011-12 campaign (18), including seven victories in Horizon League play. The Flames' turnaround this season is the nation's 12th-largest when factoring in a team's difference in overall winning percentage.

In the Land of Lincoln, Too...
As of March 7, UIC owns the third-most wins (17) among the 13 Division I schools in the state of Illinois. The Flames are 4-3 against in-state foes this season.

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 62.5 points per game, which would represent the lowest point average for its opponents in school history.
• UIC currently ranks 23rd in the nation in free throw percentage, at 75.0 percent. The Flames have shot 75.0 percent or better from the charity stripe in 19 games this season.
• The Flames are averaging only 12.2 turnovers per game, which ranks 70th nationally. UIC has turned the ball over on just 19.2 percent of its possessions.
• When UIC holds its opponent between 30-39 percent shooting, the Flames are 12-1 on the season. UIC is also 10-2 when leading at halftime, and 8-2 when out-rebounding its opponents.
• The Flames are 2-1 on neutral courts this season, with notable wins over Mercer (11/17/12) and Iona (11/19/12). UIC is 4-2 at neutral site locations under third-year head coach Howard Moore.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is averaging a team-high 12.5 points per game, with a total of 389 points on the season. He is also the team leader in assists (133), steals (46), free throws made (114) and free throw percentage (.857).
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 12.1 points per game. He has posted 18 double-digit scoring outputs, including seven in the last nine games.
• Senior center Josh Crittle averaged 10.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game during Horizon League play. The UCF transfer scored in double figures in nine-of the Flames' 16 conference games, and enters Friday's game as the Flames' leading rebounder in all games (5.3 rpg).
• To go along with his 9.8 points per contest, junior forward Hayden Humesis averaging 5.2 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 39.0 percent (48-123) from three.

Gettin' Defensive
UIC is closing in on its most successful team defensive season in program history. The Flames have held 11 opponents under 35 percent shooting, and limited the opposition to less than a 40.0 percent effort in 14 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 12-1 when holding its opponent between 30-39 percent shooting from the field.

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).