Dec. 16, 2013
UIC Game Notes
The UIC men’s basketball team (4-6) will host its final home game of the 2013 calendar year on Tuesday night (Dec. 17) as they welcome Purdue Calumet (9-2) to the UIC Pavilion for a 7 p.m. CT tip. The Flames are fresh off a 75-69 road victory at Southeast Missouri State, while the Peregrines dropped their most recent outing against Holy Cross (Ind.) by a final of 70-64. Tuesday’s contest will be the 11th all-time meeting between the two schools and first since the 1974-75 season. The Flames hold an 8-2 series advantage versus the Peregrines.
Last Time Out
The Flames snapped Southeast Missouri State’s five-game win streak last Saturday with a 75-69 road victory inside the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo. UIC’s defense limited the Redhawk’s 13th-ranked offense to a 40 percent shooting clip, while holding the Preseason OVC Player of the Year Tyler Stone to 4-of-15 from the field. The Flames began the night with a 16-0 run and held the lead from wire-to-wire. Senior Kelsey Barlow nearly posted a triple-double with 21 points and career-highs of 12 rebounds and eight assists. He was joined in double figures by Marc Brown and Jordan Harks with 12 points apiece.
Barlow Named Horizon League Player of the Week
Senior Kelsey Barlow was named the Horizon League Player of the Week for the period of Dec. 9-15 for his near triple-double performance against SEMO last Saturday. Barlow guided the Flames to victory and posted his first collegiate double-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. His rebounding and assist totals serve and career-highs and new team-season bests. This marks the first career weekly conference accolade for Barlow and UIC’s first Horizon League honor of the 2013-14 season.
With their 75-69 win against SEMO last Saturday, the Flames have now snapped two opponents’ five-game win streaks so far this season. Along with the Redhawks, San Diego was riding five-straight victories into the Gulf Coast Showcase as UIC ultimately prevailed, 74-70. Purdue Calumet had won eight consecutive games before its defeat against Holy Cross on Sunday.
A League of His Own
Senior Kelsey Barlow is having one of the best performances in the Horizon League this season as he paces UIC in nearly all statistical categories. Barlow is the lone player in the conference to average 17 points, five rebounds and four assists or more and is one of just two players (UWM’s Matt Tiby) to rank in the top-12 in all three stat groups. His 38 points against Wagner on Nov. 27 is the highest single-game point total in the Horizon League this season and the most since Feb. 12, 2011 when current Miami Head point guard Norris Cole scored 42.
Knocking Off the Favorite
In beating SEMO, UIC has now defeated two teams that were picked to win their conference. SEMO was selected to place first in the OVC-West, while Wagner was the NEC-preseason favorite. UIC downed the Seahawks, 94-76, in the third-place game of the Gulf Coast Showcase on Nov. 27.
Strength of Schedule
After Sunday night’s NCAA slate of games, UIC’s 10 opponents so far this season have a combined record of 64-38 for a .627 winning percentage. Aside from Oakland (83-28, .748), the Flames tout the toughest non-conference schedule in terms of opponent record among Horizon League schools. The non-league campaign won’t get any easier as the Flames make a road trip to 7-4 Colorado State, along with a showdown versus 9-2 Illinois at the United Center on Dec. 28.
Birt Earns a Start
Freshman Pat Birt earned his first collegiate start in last Saturday’s 75-69 win at SEMO and played like a veteran as he tallied seven points, five rebounds and zero turnovers in 21 minutes of action. Over the past five games, Birt is averaging 8.4 points per outing, which ranks third for the Flames, and hitting a team-best 40 percent from downtown. He is also 8-of-9 from the foul line this season.
Career Night for McGuire
Freshman Markese McGuire recorded a new career-high of nine points versus SEMO last Saturday night and posted a career-best four made field goals. The Elkhardt, Ind., native came up big in the second half with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting, playing in the final 17 minutes of the contest.