Dec. 30, 2011
► UIC will look to win back-to-back Horizon League games for the first time since the 2008-09 season, when the Flames host Wright State in a New Years Eve matinee Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. CST. The Flames are coming off Thursday night's 63-59 win over Detroit, while Wright State defeated Loyola, 64-48 at Gentile Arena in Rogers Park.
► UIC, which is 5-1 at the UIC Pavilion this season, will be seeking its fifth-straight home win against the Raiders. The Flames haven't won five-consecutive home games since the 2007-08 campaign. Nine-of UIC's 12 victories over the past two seasons have taken place at the Pavilion.
► Heading into the Central Michigan game (Dec. 16) just 15 days ago, UIC had no players averaging double figures in scoring. Entering Saturday's contest against Wright State, the Flames have two players (Daniel Barnes, Gary Talton) scoring in double digits, while Darrin Williamsis just short of the mark, averaging 9.9 points per game.
► UIC is allowing its opponents to score just 58.7 points per game at the UIC Pavilion this season.
► NEXT UP: UIC will hit the road for its second Horizon League road swing next Thursday (Jan. 5), when the Flames take on Cleveland State at the Wolstein Center beginning at 6 p.m. CST (7 p.m. EST).
UIC: Howard Moore(Wisconsin, `95) is in his second season as the head coach at UIC. He spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, helping the Badgers to five-straight NCAA tournament berths. Moore, 38, also served assistant coaching stints at Loyola (2004-05), Ball State (2003-04) and Bradley (1999-2003). Moore picked up his 12th head coaching win against Detroit Thursday night.
Wright State: Billy Donlon, a native of Northbrook, Ill., is in his second season as the head coach at Wright State. Before taking over the Raider program, he spent the previous four years on Brad Brownell's (now the head coach at Clemson) staff at WSU.
ABOUT WRIGHT STATE
» Wright State was picked to finish eighth in the preseason Horizon League poll.
» The Raiders have won three-consecutive games for the first time this season, and picked up their 700th all-time win against Loyola on Thursday.
» Julius Mays, the Raiders' leading scorer (12.1 ppg), is the reigning Horizon League Co-Player of the Week. He poured in a game-high 23 points against the Ramblers, and is averaging 25.5 points per game over the past two contests.
» Wright State is currently tied for third in the Horizon League standings with a 2-1 conference record. The Raiders' only loss in League play was a 45-43 loss versus first-place Cleveland State at the Nutter Center on December 1.
» The Raiders are 2-3 on the road this season.
UIC VS. DETROIT POSTGAME NOTEBOOK
UIC shot 47.7 percent from the field, its second-most efficient team effort of the season ... The Flames swiped nine steals, a season-best mark ... UIC drilled a season-high 10 three-pointers ... Meanwhile, the Flames held Detroit to an 0-for-10 three-point shooting output ... For the fifth time in the past six games, UIC had three of its starters (Gary Talton; 21 points, Daniel Barnes; 14 and Hayden Humes; 10) score in double figures ... The Titans out-rebounded the Flames 36-31, only the fourth time UIC has been out-rebounded this season ... Talton's scoring output was fueled by a season-high four three-pointers, while Barnes added three triples, and Humes converted two threes ... UIC led 30-28 at halftime, and out-scored the Titans in the second half, 33-31 ... The Flames shot 48 percent (12-25) in the first half, and 47.4 percent in the second frame ... UIC's largest lead was an 11-point (16-5) margin, with 12:11 remaining in the opening half ... Detroit's largest lead was two points, on two occasions ... There were a combined 11 ties and lead changes in the game.
The Flames and Raiders have played to a 21-21 stalemate in the all-time series. Dating back to the 2006-07 season, Wright State has won nine-of the last 10 meetings, and four-straight.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
With a win over Wright State, UIC would...
» Win back-to-back Horizon League games for the first time since the 2008-09 season
» Win consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 15 and Nov. 19, 2010, when the Flames defeated Roosevelt and Toledo, respectively
» Equal its entire Horizon League win output from the 2010-11 campaign, with 14 regular season League games remaining
» Win five-straight home games for the first time since the 2007-08 season
» Improve to 10-10 at the UIC Pavilion under head coach Howard Moore
» Improve to .500 in Horizon League play for the first time since finishing 9-9 in League play during the 2007-08 season.
TWO OF THE HORIZON LEAGUE'S YOUNGEST
UIC and Wright State are the two of the youngest teams in the NCAA Division I ranks this season. Head coach Howard Mooreand his staff have welcomed nine newcomers to the mix, including seven freshmen, representing the 16th youngest team in the country. Meanwhile, Wright State's roster also includes seven freshmen, and only a combined 13 years of Division I experience on its entire team, making the Raiders the sixth-youngest squad in the nation.
GONE IN 60 SECONDS
Senior center Darrin Williams is shooting a Horizon League second-best 60.2 percent from the field on the season. If that stat holds up at the end of the year, Williams would become the first player since Jermaine Daileyin 2007-08, and only the fifth in program history, to shoot at least 60 percent from the field in a single campaign.
UIC IN THE HORIZON LEAGUE STATS
Entering Saturday's game against Wright State, UIC ranks first in the Horizon League (conference-only) in both scoring offense (67.3 points per game) and three-point field goal percentage (.400). Senior center Darrin Williams paces the League in field goal percentage during conference games, shooting a blistering 72.2 percent from the field, while junior point guard Gary Talton is scoring 17.7 points per contest during League play, the second-best mark in the conference. Additionally, freshman point guard Greg Travisis currently tied for second in the League in assist/turnover ratio during Horizon League action, boasting a 4.5 ratio with nine assists and just two turnovers.
HOME SWEET HOME
UIC has shot at least 40 percent from the field in four-of its six home games this season, and recorded its two-best team shooting efforts at the Pavilion. The Flames shot a season-best 49 percent against Evansville on Nov. 23, and converted at a 47.7 clip versus Detroit on Thursday night.
POINT 'N SHOOT
UIC enters Saturday's contest against Wright State with five players currently shooting at least 40 percent from the field. As mentioned, senior center Darrin Williams ranks second in the Horizon League with a 60.9 percent effort. Additional Flames shooting 40 percent or more include freshman point guard Greg Travis (.429), sophomore forward Hayden Humes (.419), junior point guard Gary Talton (.419) and senior forward Paris Carter(.403). Notably, Humes (.485) and Travis (.455) are both shooting above 45 percent from three-point range.
TALTON IN HORIZON LEAGUE GAMES
Junior point guard Gary Talton, a transfer from Mountain View Community College in Texas, hasn't taken long to get acclimated to Horizon League play. In each of UIC's three conference games, Talton has eclipsed his previous career-high in scoring (14 at Green Bay, 18 at Milwaukee, 21 vs. Detroit). He enters Saturday's game averaging 17.7 points per game during Horizon League action.
DOWN THE WIRE...
UIC's men's basketball team has seen no shortage of nail biters this season, playing a total of seven games decided by five points or less. UIC is 3-4 in those contests, and had a chance to either tie or win the game with a last-second shot in road games at Green Bay (12/1/11), Milwaukee (12/3/11) and CMU (12/16/11). Additionally, the Flames have held second-half leads in six-of their eight losses this season.