Flames Embark on First Road Test at Northern Illinois Tuesday Night

Nov. 26, 2012

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Game #6: UIC Flames (4-1) at Northern Illinois Huskies (1-3)
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 • Convocation Center (DeKalb, Ill.) • 7:00 p.m.
Radio: UIC Flames Radio Network (Dave Juday/Kenny Williams/Jonathan Hood)
Radio Flagship: WMVP-AM 1000 • Webcast: (Subscription Required)
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 19-47 (3rd season)
UIC Athletic Communications Contact: Brett McWethy • Office Phone: 312.996.5880
Cell Phone: 815.751.1015 • E-mail: • Press Row: 312.413.5712/5710
Twitter Coverage: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

The Last Meeting
Northern Illinois55
December 10, 2011
Chicago, Ill. (UIC Pavilion)
Flames Outlast NIU for Second-Straight Home Win, 62-55
Freshman Marc Brown scored a game-high 15 points to lead three Flames in double figures, and the UIC men's basketball team pulled away late to post a 62-55 win over in-state rival Northern Illinois at the UIC Pavilion Saturday afternoon.

#4 Gary Talton • PG
The Horizon League Co-Player of the Week (first-career weekly honor). Enters Tuesday's game as the Flames' leader in scoring and assists, and is UIC's second-leading rebounder. Member of the 2012 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team after scoring 13.2 ppg in League play.

#1 Daniel Barnes • SG
Has made a team-high 12 three-point field goals this season, an average of 2.4 threes per game. UIC's fourth-leading rebounder, and one of four Flames averaging double figures in scoring. Scored a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season, and ranked fourth overall in the Horizon League in three-point field goals made (64).

#10 Marc Brown • SF/W
Shooting a team-best 85.7 percent (12-14) from the free throw line. Has started 32 of the 35 career games he has played in. Scored a game-high 15 points against Northern Illinois last season at the Pavilion. Scored exactly 200 points in freshman season, starting 27 contests. Scored six or more points on 15 occasions, and led the Flames in scoring five times.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
UIC's leading rebounder, and second-leading scorer. Shooting 46.2 percent (24-52) from the field, and 50 percent (12-24) from three. Has converted a team-high 12 three-point field goals on the season. Dating back to the 2011-12 campaign, has posted double-digit scoring outputs in 12-of the last 15 games, including four times this season.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
The Horizon League Newcomer of the Week. Recorded his first-career double-double with career-high 17 points and career-best 12 rebounds against SEMO. Played in all 31 games for UCF last season, garnering 25 starts. Prior to transferring to UCF, appeared in 51 games over two seasons at Oregon. Transferred to UIC in September.

UIC has won four-of the last five meetings versus NIU, dating back to the 2005-06 campaign. The Flames defeated the Huskies 62-55 at the UIC Pavilion last season (12/10/11) behind Marc Brown'sgame-high 15 points. Overall, the Flames have controlled the all-time series, with a 22-15 lead in 37 total meetings.

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team will look to capture its fourth-straight win Tuesday, when the Flames take on in-state rival Northern Illinois at the Convocation Center beginning at 7:00 p.m. CST. UIC will be playing its first true road game of the season.

UIC vs. Southeast Missouri Recap
The UIC men's basketball team dug down on defense for 40 minutes, grinding out its third-straight win, 56-45, over Southeast Missouri at the UIC Pavilion last Saturday. Senior center Josh Crittleasserted himself inside, posting his first-career double-double with a game-high 17 points and 12 rebounds, leading a trio of Flames in double figures.

For the second-straight game, UIC's senior starters led the offensive attack. Crittle's 17 points and 12 boards both marked career-highs for his Division I career. Point guard Gary Talton recorded his fifth double-digit scoring output of the season, chipping in 14 points to go along with a career-high nine rebounds, while Daniel Barnesscored 10 points. The Flames recorded a resounding 50-40 advantage on the boards and committed just five turnovers on offense. UIC also out-scored SEMO 18-0 off turnovers.

UIC has now won three-straight games for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign. The Flames' 4-1 start to the season marks its best start to a campaign since 2003-04, when UIC jumped out of the gate with a 6-1 mark.

UIC led at halftime, 28-25, but SEMO claimed a 32-31 lead with 12:33 remaining. Junior forward Hayden Humesconverted his lone field goal with 6:59 remaining, giving the Flames a 41-39 lead that they would not relinquish. SEMO's Marland Smith hit two free throws with 1:53 left, trimming UIC's lead to 50-45, but the Redhawks could draw no closer.

Talton, Crittle Receive Weekly Horizon League Honors
Senior point guard Gary Talton has been named the Horizon League Men's Basketball Co-Player of the Week, while senior center Josh Crittlewas tabbed the Newcomer of the Week, it was announced by League officials Monday morning. The Flames went 2-0 last week, recording non-conference wins over Iona and Southeast Missouri.

Talton averaged 15.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game while committing just two turnovers in the Flames' two contests. Against Iona, he capped off his stellar performance in the US Virgin Islands Paradise Jam by scoring a season-high 17 points and dishing out seven assists against just one turnover. In the Flames' 56-45 win over SEMO, he chipped in 14 points and corralled a career-high nine rebounds.

Crittle averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting nearly 48 percent (.476) from the field last week. In the 86-81 win over the Gaels in St. Thomas, Crittle scored 13 points, pulled down four rebounds dished out two assists and had one block in 32 minutes. He was also 7-for-9 from the free throw line. Five days later against SEMO, the first-year transfer from UCF produced his first-career double-double, scoring a career-high 17 points and corralling a career-best 12 boards.

Running the Show
Senior point guard Gary Taltontallied his 26th career double-digit scoring output (14 points) last Saturday against SEMO, but his efficiency in running the offense has been even more impressive early on this season. Talton has dished out 23 assists against just five turnovers, an assist/turnover ratio of 4.6. For his two-year career, Talton has produced a 1.4 assist/turnover ratio, with 122 assists versus 87 turnovers.

Gettin' Defensive
UIC's stingy defensive effort has certainly been notable early this season, and been a key factor in the Flames' four wins. The Flames are holding their opponents to just a 38.9 percent effort from the field, and a 25.6 percent output from three-point range. Along with limiting the opposition to just 56.0 points per game, UIC has also forced its foes into an average of 13.8 turnovers per game. The Flames are also averaging 6.2 steals per game entering Tuesday's contest against Northern Illinois.

Winning in Multiple Ways
The ebbs and flows of a college basketball season can be significant when crunching the numbers. But as head coach Howard Mooreoften refers to, the most important thing is be on the "left side of the column" at the conclusion of a game. UIC has been on the winning side of the ledger in each of the past three contests, but the fashion in which the Flames have won their last two games couldn't be more different in comparison. In UIC's 86-81 victory over 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Iona (11/19/12), the Flames tallied team season-highs in points (86), field goals made (26), field goal percentage (.473), three-point field goals (12), free throws made (22) and assists (17). Five days later against SEMO, UIC recorded season-lows in points (56), field goals made (19), field goal percentage (.288) and three-point field goals (6), but still pulled away for an 11-point win.

Point `N Shoot
Junior forward Hayden Humesis off to a hot start through UIC's first five games. The Valparaiso, Ind., native is shooting 46.2 percent (24-52) from the field, and 50 percent (12-24) from three-point range. Humes struggled from the field against Southeast Missouri (1-11), but paced the Flames in scoring in each of the previous three games during the US Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, including a career-high 22 points bolstered by four three-pointers in the finale against Iona.

Dating back to last season, Humes has posted double-digit scoring outputs in 12-of the last 15 games, including in seven-of the last eight contests. Prior to the SEMO game, Humes was shooting 56.1 percent from the field, and 63.2 percent from three from the power forward position.

Limiting the Mishaps
UIC committed just five turnovers in its 56-45 win over Southeast Missouri last Saturday. It marked the Flames' fewest amount of mishaps in a single game since Feb. 3, 2007, when UIC turned the ball over just four times in a 92-87 loss at Youngstown State.

Shooting from Distance
UIC has converted at least eight three-pointers in four-of its five games this season. The Flames drilled eight threes in the season opening win over UC Riverside, converted nine triples against New Mexico, hit eight three-pointers against Mercer and made a season-high 12 threes versus Iona. Junior forward Hayden Humes and senior guard Daniel Barnes have each has hit a team-high 12 threes on the season, while sophomore guard Joey Miller have drilled eight, and senior point guard Gary Taltonhas converted seven three-point field goals.

All About Balance
The Flames may have found the recipe that will help them turn the corner this season: offensive balance. In all five of its games, UIC has seen at least three players score in double figures. Additionally, UIC has had four players post double-digit scoring outputs in two individual contests. The main staple has been senior point guard Gary Talton, who has posted double-digit scoring outputs in each of the Flames' games. Junior forward Hayden Humeshas scored in double figures in four-of the Flames' five contests.

Scouting the Huskies
Northern Illinois, a member of the Mid-American Conference West Division, is off to a 1-3 start this season. The Huskies are being led in scoring by Akeem Springs, who is averaging 12.0 points per game. NIU's leading rebounder is Aksel Bolin, a native of Norway, who has pulled down an average of 6.0 boards per game. The Huskies are coached by Mark Montgomery, who is in his second season at the helm. UIC head coach Howard Mooreand Montgomery are familiar with each other from their time in the Big Ten. Moore served as an Assistant Coach at Wisconsin for five seasons (2005-10) before taking over the Flames' head job, while Montgomery was serving as the Associate Head Coach at Michigan State under Head Coach Tom Izzo.

Looking Ahead
UIC will wrap up its two-game Chicagoland road swing Saturday, when the Flames make the short trip to Evanston to take on Northwestern. The Wildcats are 6-0 this season after capturing the South Padre Invitational Championship last weekend. Northwestern will host Maryland as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Tuesday night (8:15 p.m. CST).

New Kids on the Block
• UIC has nine new players on the 2012-13 roster, including five freshmen (two walk-ons), two sophomores and two seniors.
• Three of the newcomers have Division I experience: Josh Crittle (UCF), Joey Miller (Eastern Illinois) and Kelsey Barlow (Purdue). Barlow will sit out the entire 2012-13 season satisfying NCAA transfer rules. Crittle and Miller were both given immediate eligibility with the Flames.
Matt Gorski, Gabe Snider and Jake Wiegand are true freshmen, as are walk-ons Ngijol Songolo and Austin Angel.
Joey Miller and Jay Parker are sophomore eligible.
• Head coach Howard Moore's2012-13 class was ranked at the "Head of the Class" by USA Today in the publication's season preview and "Rating the Recruiting" section.

This Week in the Horizon League (Weekday Games)
Tuesday, Nov. 27
• Detroit at Bowling Green, 6:00 p.m. CST
• UIC at Northern Illinois, 7:00 p.m. CST

Wednesday, Nov. 28
• Cleveland State at Ball State, 6:00 p.m. CST
• Kent State at Youngstown State, 6:05 p.m. CST
• Tennessee Tech at Loyola, 7:00 p.m. CST