Game #34: Flames Travel to UNI in CIT Round of 16 Saturday Night

Senior guard Daniel Barnes
Senior guard Daniel Barnes

March 22, 2013

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Game #34: Flames Travel to UNI For CIT Round of 16
2013 Tournament (CIT) Second Round
UIC Flames (18-15) at UNI Panthers (19-14)

Saturday, March 23, 2013 • McLeod Center • 7:00 p.m. CST
Live Video:
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 33-61 (3rd season)
UNI Head Coach: Ben Jacobson • Record at UNI/Overall: 148-85 (7th season)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

The Last Meeting
November 19, 2008
Men's Basketball Defeats UNI In Home Opener, 84-77
Chicago, Ill.- Senior guard Josh Mayo scored a game-high 27 points and sophomore forward Tori Boyd hit four three-pointers in a career-high 17-point effort to pace the UIC men's basketball team to an 84-77 victory over UNI in the Flames' 2008-09 home opener on Wednesday night.

UIC's Starters vs. Chicago State

#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 26 times this season, and 47 times during his two-year career. Ranks second in the Horizon League in both assists and free throw percentage (.864).

#1 Daniel Barnes • SG
The Flames' second-leading scorer. Has drilled a Horizon League second-best 78 three-point field goals on the season. Ranks eighth on UIC's all-time three-point field goals list (148). Passed the 700-point plateau for his career against Chicago State. Against the Cougars, tallied first-career double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

#10 Marc Brown • SF
Has played in 32-of-33 games, and made 20 starts. Can defend multiple positions. Has scored in double figures in four-of the last nine games. Scored exactly 200 points in freshman season (2011-12).

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
The Flames' third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder. Shooting 47.1 percent from the floor and 40.3 percent from three. Has led the Flames in scoring seven times, and been the leading rebounder on 11 occasions. Averaging 16.0 points on a 73.1 percent effort from the field over the last three games. 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 2.1 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: UIC leads, 11-10
UIC leads the all-time series against Northern Iowa, 11-10. UIC and UNI were founding members of the Association of the Mid-Continent Universities (formerly known as the Mid-Continent Conference until changing its name to the Summit League on June 1, 2007) and were conference foes until UNI joined the Missouri Valley Conference in 1991.

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team (18-15) will look to keep its postseason run alive, when the Flames travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa to take on Northern Iowa (19-14) in the second round of the Postseason Tournament Saturday night beginning at 7:00 p.m. CST.

Postseason Primers
UIC is in the middle of its fifth-ever appearance in the postseason, and its first berth since 2004 ... Against UNI, UIC will be playing its first-ever Missouri Valley Conference opponent in the postseason ... 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 1-4 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.)
• March 20, 2013 ( Tournament): UIC 80, Chicago State 69 (UIC Pavilion)

How We Got Here
UIC garnered an at-large berth into the 2013 Tournament. Third-year head coach Howard Moore orchestrated a turnaround that was bolstered by an increase of 10 total wins (18) from the 2011-12 campaign (8), including a winning percentage increase of 27.88. 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 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: UIC Defeats Chicago State for First Postseason Win
The UIC men's basketball team built a 22-point first-half lead, and held off a second half rally by visiting Chicago State to post an 80-69 win over the Cougars in the first-round of the Postseason Tournament Wednesday night at the Pavilion. The Flames advanced to the second round of the CIT, where they will take on Northern Iowa at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa on Saturday night. Senior guard Daniel Barnes collected his first-career double-double with a game-high 22 points to go along with a career-best 10 rebounds. Senior center Josh Crittle scored 17 points and pulled down nine boards; junior forward Hayden Humes scored 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting, and senior point guard Gary Talton chipped in 12 points to go along with eight assists.

UIC led 46-30 at halftime, building a game-high 22-point (44-22) lead with 2:49 remaining. Barnes (12), Crittle (11) and Humes (10) all scored in double figures in the opening 20:00. UIC held off a second half surge by Chicago State, and went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the final 2:53 to collect its 12th home win of the season.

Postgame Notables: UIC improved to 5-0 on the season when scoring between 80-89 points ... The Flames upped their record to 13-1 this season when holding their opponent between a 30-39 percent shooting effort ... UIC's 52.6 percent output from three-point range marked its most efficient effort from beyond the arc since Nov. 19 against Iona (.522).

Passing, Chasing Milestones
Senior guard Daniel Barnes' aforementioned 22 points led all scorers against Chicago State, and helped him pass the 700-point plateau for his two-plus year career (708). Meanwhile, junior forward Hayden Humes enters Saturday's game with 590 career points at UIC, just 10 tallies shy of 600.

Crashing the Boards
Rebounding has not been one of the Flames' main strengths this season - UIC has been out-rebounded by its opponent 21 times. But UIC has out-rebounded three-of its last four foes, going 2-1 in those games. On the season, the Flames are 9-2 when beating their opponent on the boards.

Dishin' It Out
Senior point guard Gary Talton has established himself as one of the Horizon League's most consistent scorers over the past two seasons - he has paced the Flames in scoring 24 times in the past 63 games. But in UIC's late season run, Talton has gotten back to the little things that make a veteran point guard so valuable. He hasn't led UIC in scoring since the Flames' 88-83 triple overtime win at Youngstown State (2/10/13), but has dished out five or more assists in each of the last four contents, including eight helpers against Chicago State on Wednesday.

Barnes' Late Season Surge
Senior guard Daniel Barnes is playing the best basketball of his career down the stretch of his senior season. The Oak Park, Ill., native has collected five double-digit scoring outputs in the past six games, and is averaging 3.7 three-point field goals per game during that stretch. Barnes, who has also corralled six or more rebounds 12 times on the season, has led the Flames in scoring in four-of the past six games, and been UIC's rebounding leader in five-of the last seven contests.

With a Win Over Northern Iowa, UIC Would...
• Advance to the third-round of the Tournament
• Collect its 19th win of the season, the most since the 2003-04 campaign (24)
• Win three games in the month of March for the first time since the 2007-08 season

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 Banks in 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.

Closer of the League?
Senior point guard Gary Talton is 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 Brown are wrapping up their second season in a Flames uniform in style. Humes is averaging 16.0 points per game on a 73.0 percent effort from the field over the past three contests - he has converted 15-of his last 18 field goal attempts. Meanwhile, Brown has scored in double figures in six-of the Flames' last nine games. 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 three-of its last four opponents, including a +12 advantage against Chicago State on Wednesday.
• The eighth-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 five games, the Flames are shooting 44.8 percent (35-78) from beyond the arc.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 15.2 points and pulling down 6.2 boards per game over the last nine contests, leading UIC in both categories. He has also drilled at least four three-pointers in three-of the last four games.
• Over the last 10 games, freshman forward Jake Wiegand is averaging 9.8 minutes per game off the bench. During that stretch, Wiegand has shot 62.5 percent (15-24) from the floor.
• Dating back to last season, senior point guard Gary Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 32-of the last 40 contests, including in 16-of the last 20 games. Talton has also averaged 6.3 assists per game (57 total assists) over the past nine contests.

Turning it Around
UIC's turnaround this season has been notable. The Flames enter Wednesday's game with 18 wins, more than double their total from the 2011-12 campaign (8), and posted seven victories in Horizon League play. The Flames' turnaround this season is the nation's 11th-largest when factoring in a team's difference in overall winning percentage.

In the Land of Lincoln, Too...
As of March 21, UIC owns the third-most wins (18) 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 62.8 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 75.3 percent. The Flames have shot 75.0 percent or better from the charity stripe in 21 games this season.
• The Flames are averaging only 12.2 turnovers per game, which ranks 71st 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 13-1 on the season. UIC is also 11-2 when leading at halftime, and 9-2 when out-rebounding its opponents.
• The Flames are 4-9 on the road this season, with non-conference road wins over Northern Illinois (11/27/12) and Northwestern (12/1/12), and Horizon League victories at Wright State (1/26/13) and Youngstown State (2/10/13).
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is averaging a team-high 12.5 points per game, with a total of 413 points on the season. He is also the team leader in assists (147), steals (47), free throws made (127) and free throw percentage (.864).
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 12.2 points per game. He has posted 19 double-digit scoring outputs, including eight in the last 11 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 Saturday's game as the Flames' leading rebounder in all games (5.4 rpg).
• To go along with his 10.4 points per contest, junior forward Hayden Humes is averaging 5.2 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 40.3 percent (52-129) from three.

Scouting the Panthers
Northern Iowa, a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, is 19-14 on the season, and wrapped up Valley regular season play with an 11-7 record. The Panthers dropped a first-round decision in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament to Illinois State. UNI is led in scoring by senior guard Anthony James, who is scoring 13.1 points per game. Sophomore Seth Tuttle has added 10.9 ppg; senior guard Marc Sonnen is scoring 10.6 ppg and senior forward Jake Koch has chipped in 10.4 points per contest. Tuttle is the Panthers' leading rebounder, corralling an average of 6.5 boards per game. UNI is mentored by seventh-year head coach Ben Jacobson, who has led UNI to four-straight 20-win seasons, including an NCAA Tourney "Sweet 16" appearance in 2009-10 and a berth in the NIT last season.