Game #33: Flames Begin CIT Against Chicago State Wednesday Night

Hayden Humes poured in a career-high 23 points against Green Bay.
Hayden Humes poured in a career-high 23 points against Green Bay.

March 19, 2013

UIC vs. Chicago State (Game Notes)Get Acrobat Reader

Game #33: Flames Begin CIT Against Chicago State Wednesday
2013 Tournament (CIT) First Round
UIC Flames (17-15) vs. Chicago State (11-21)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 • UIC Pavilion • 7:00 p.m. CST
Audio: (Webcast): Justin Weiner (Play-by-Play)/Sam Panayotovich (Color)
Live Video: • TV: Lakeshore PTV (Scott Slocum/Kenny McReynolds)
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 32-61 (3rd season)
Chicago State Head Coach: Tracy Dildy • Record at Chicago State/Overall: 21-73 (3rd season)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

UIC's Last Game Starters

#4 Gary Talton • PG
Named Second-Team All-Horizon League. The Flames' leading scorer and fourth-leading rebounder. In Horizon League games, averaged a League 11th-best 13.3 ppg. Has scored in double figures 25 times this season, and 46 times during his two-year career. Enters Wednesday's game with 750 career points.

#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). In home games, is averaging 2.6 made threes per contest. Enters Wednesday's game with 686 career points, just 14 tallies short of 700.

#20 Anthony Kelley • SF
Has started 11-of the last 14 games. Poured in a career-high 15 points against Detroit on Senior Day. In home games, is averaging 5.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest. The Flames' lone four-year senior.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
The Flames' third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder. Shooting 46.3 percent from the floor and 39.7 percent from three. Has led the Flames in scoring seven times, and been the leading rebounder on 11 occasions. Poured in a career-high 23 points on 10 field goals against Green Bay in the Horizon League Quarterfinals. UIC's career active leader in both rebounds and blocks.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
Named to the Horizon League's All-Newcomer Team. In League 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. UIC's lone player with postseason experience - played in the NIT for UCF last season. Transferred to UIC from UCF in September.

Series Information: Chicago State leads, 34-28
The UIC-Chicago State rivalry dates back to the 1947-48 season, but Wednesday's game will mark the first time the two teams have gone head-to-head since 2005. The Cougars lead the all-time series, 34-28.

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team (17-15) will begin its postseason run against crosstown rival Chicago State (10-21) in the first-round of the Tournament (CIT) Wednesday night at the Pavilion beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Flames garnered an at-large berth into the tourney, while Chicago State secured the Great West Conference automatic berth after winning the conference tournament championship last Saturday at the Jones Convocation Center.

Postseason Primers
UIC will be making its fifth-ever appearance in the postseason, and its first berth since 2004 ... Against Chicago State, UIC will host its first-ever postseason game at the Pavilion ... UIC advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1998, 2002 and 2004 ... The Flames made their only appearance in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 2003 ... UIC is 0-4 all-time in the postseason ... The Flames garnered the No. 9 seed in the 1998 NCAA Tourney, the No. 15 seed in the 2002 "Big Dance" and the No. 13 seed in the 2004 NCAA Tournament ... UIC all-time leading scorer Cedrick Banks (2001-05) played in all three of the Flames' postseason games during the early 2000's (2002, 2003, 2004), and is UIC's all-time leading scorer in the postseason (44 points; 14.6 ppg) ... Martell Bailey (2001-04), Armond Williams (2001-05), Aaron Carr (2001-04) and Jabari Harris(2000-04) also played in all three of those contests.

UIC all-time in the postseason
• March 12, 1998 (NCAA East Region First-Round): UNC Charlotte 77, UIC 62 (Hartford, Conn.)
• March 15, 2002 (NCAA West Region First-Round): Oklahoma 71, UIC 63 (Dallas, Texas)
• March 19, 2003 (NIT First-Round): Western Michigan 63, UIC 62 (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
• March 19, 2004 (NCAA St. Louis Region): Kansas 78, UIC 53 (Kansas City, Mo.)

How We Got Here
As mentioned, UIC garnered an at-large berth into the Tournament. Third-year head coach Howard Mooreorchestrated a turnaround that was bolstered by an increase of nine total wins (17) from the 2011-12 campaign (8), including a winning percentage increase of 26.46. UIC posted notable wins over 2012 postseason foes Mercer, Iona, Northwestern, Colorado State, Cleveland State and Milwaukee. The Flames also garnered the No. 5 seed in the Horizon League Tournament, their best regular season finish since securing the No. 4 seed at the conclusion of the 2007-08 campaign.

UIC began the season with a 9-1 record, and appeared in the Mid-Major Top-25 in four-consecutive weeks. The Flames were eliminated from the Horizon League Championship on a buzzer-beater in the quarterfinals.

Howard Moore Named Finalist for Ben Jobe Award
UIC head men's basketball coach Howard Moore, who has led the Flames to one of the largest turnarounds in the nation during the 2012-13 season, was named one-of 20 finalists for the Ben Jobe Award, which annually honors the top minority head coach in the Division I ranks. The 2013 recipient will be announced at the awards banquet in Atlanta, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship. The Ben Jobe Award is presented annually to the top minority coach in Division I men's basketball.

Last Time Out: Flames Eliminated by Green Bay in Heartbreaker
Green Bay's Sultan Muhammad drained a contested three-pointer with less than two seconds remaining, lifting the fourth-seeded Phoenix to a shocking 64-63 win over the No. 5 UIC men's basketball team in the second round of the Horizon League Tournament at the Athletics-Recreation Center on March 8. With the loss, the Flames were eliminated from the League Tournament.

Muhammad's game-winner was his lone three-pointer of the game. It came after senior point guard Gary Taltonsank two free throws with just 7.0 seconds remaining to give the Flames a 63-61 lead. Muhammad received the ball on the right wing, pulled up and sank the contested three. Senior guard Daniel Barnes' desperation heave as time expired did not draw iron.

The Flames were led by junior forward and Valparaiso native Hayden Humes, who poured in a career-high 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting - he scored 12 points in UIC's second half comeback. Seniors Josh Crittleand Talton also chipped in with 12 points. Green Bay was led by Alec Brown, who scored 17 points. He was joined in double figures by point guard Keifer Sykes, who chipped in with 15.

Talton, Crittle Collect All-Horizon League Honors
Senior point guard Gary Talton was named Second-Team All-Horizon League, 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 25 double-digit scoring outputs this season, and led the Flames in scoring on 14 occasions. He has started all 32 games and dished out five or more assists 14 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 19 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.

With a Win Over Chicago State, UIC Would...
• Win its first-ever postseason game, and advance to the second-round of the Tournament
• Collect its 18th win of the season, the most since the 2007-08 campaign (18)
• Improve to 12-4 at home this season
• Improve to 5-3 against in-state foes this season

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 shot 69.2 percent (9-13) from the floor, 60.0 percent (3-5) from three-point range and 90.4 percent (19-21) from free throw line.

Glimpse Into the Future
Junior forward Hayden Humes and sophomore wing Marc Brownare wrapping up their second season in a Flames uniform in style. Humes is coming off a career-high 23-point performance on a career-best 10 field goals in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Championship, and has scored in double figures in three-of the last four games. Meanwhile, Brown has averaged 9.0 ppg on a 42.0 percent effort from the field in the past eight contests, with six games scoring eight or more points. The tandem will return for their respective senior and junior campaigns next season, representing the Flames' top-two returning scoring leaders.

What's Trending?
• UIC has out-rebounded each of its past two visiting opponents (Detroit and Cleveland State). 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 three games, the Flames are shooting 42.3 percent (25-59) from beyond the arc.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring a team-high 14.4 points and pulling down 5.8 boards per game over the last eight contests. He has also made 22 three-point field goals during that stretch (2.8 per game).
• Over the last nine games, freshman forward Jake Wiegand is averaging 10.3 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 31-of the last 39 contests, including in 15-of the last 19 games. Talton has also averaged 6.1 assists per game (49 total assists) over the past eight contests.

Turning it Around
UIC's turnaround this season has been notable. The Flames enter Wednesday's game with 17 wins, more than double their total from the 2011-12 campaign (18), and posted seven victories in Horizon League play. The Flames' turnaround this season is the nation's 14th-largest when factoring in a team's difference in overall winning percentage.

In the Land of Lincoln, Too...
As of March 18, UIC owns the fourth-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 62.6 points per game, which would represent the lowest point average for its opponents in school history.
• UIC currently ranks 19th in the nation in free throw percentage, at 75.2 percent. The Flames have shot 75.0 percent or better from the charity stripe in 20 games this season.
• The Flames are averaging only 12.1 turnovers per game, which ranks 71st nationally. UIC has turned the ball over on just 19.0 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 11-4 at the Pavilion this season, with notable home wins over Colorado State (12/8/12), Loyola (1/16/13), Green Bay (1/31/13) and Wright State (2/26/13).
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is averaging a team-high 12.5 points per game, with a total of 401 points on the season. He is also the team leader in assists (139), steals (47), free throws made (118) and free throw percentage (.861).
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 11.9 points per game. He has posted 18 double-digit scoring outputs, including seven in the last 10 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 Wednesday's game as the Flames' leading rebounder in all games (5.3 rpg).
• To go along with his 10.3 points per contest, junior forward Hayden Humesis averaging 5.2 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 39.7 percent (50-126) 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 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).

Scouting the Cougars
Chicago State, the 2013 Great West Conference Tournament Champions, are 11-21 on the season - the Cougars finished GWC play with a 3-5 record. Junior Quinton Pippen is the lone Cougar scoring in double figures (10.3 ppg), but leads a balanced scoring attack. Juniors Matt Ross (9.8), Jamere Dismukes (9.2) and Nate Duhon (9.1), and senior forward Jeremy Robinson (8.7), are all averaging more than eight points per contest. Starting point guard Corey Grayalso played at UIC during the 2010-11 campaign before transferring to the South Side.

The Cougars are mentored by third-year head coach Tracy Dildy, who played at UIC from 1988-90, and served as an assistant coach with the Flames under former head coach Jimmy Collins from 2007-10, including the final season (2009-10) as the Associate Head Coach.