Flames Defeat Butler, 62-57, for Sixth Straight Win

Rachel Story (17 points) scored 15 second-half points in the 62-57 victory at Butler
Rachel Story (17 points) scored 15 second-half points in the 62-57 victory at Butler

Dec. 7, 2013

Box Score

INDIANAPOLIS – The UIC women’s basketball team (6-2) won its sixth consecutive game Saturday (Dec. 7) with a 62-57 victory over Butler (3-5) inside Hinkle Fieldhouse. Katie Hannemann (16 points and eight rebounds) and Ruvanna Campbell (14 points and 10 rebounds) neutralized Bulldog center Liz Stratman while Rachel Story (17 points) had a strong second half for the Flames.

The Flames’ 6-2 record is the best start in 12 seasons and equals the best eight-game start in the Division I era. Since UIC became a Division I member in 1980-81, the Flames have been 6-2 to start a season twice (1995-96 & 2001-02).

It is also the Flames’ first six-game win streak since Jan. 11-Feb. 3, 2007 in the midst of a program-record 11 consecutive victories. Four of the six victories have been over 2012-13 WNIT participants (Idaho State, Miami Ohio, Texas Southern and Butler).

“We emphasized interior defense all week and challenged our players to outperform their talented post players,” said head coach Regina Miller. “Butler likes to score from the inside out. Katie (Hannemann) and Ruvanna (Campbell) did an excellent job rebounding and contesting all shots. Katie and Ruvanna also made plays offensively and that opened up the rest of our offense.”

“Butler’s defense was designed to stop Rachel (Story) off the dribble,” continued Miller. “They knew she was a prolific scorer and they were successful in preventing her from getting good looks in the first half. In the second half, Rachel found a way to get free with an extra dribble and hit clutch shots when we needed them. She took control of the offense and was certainly willing to step up to hit big shots for us today.”

UIC shot 52 percent from the floor, including 60 percent (14-of-23) in the second half. UIC out-rebounded Butler 38-34 and out-scored the Bulldogs 40-24 in the paint. Stratman, the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week, entered the contest averaging a team-high 16.4 points per game and was held to eight points in only 24 minutes of action.

UIC ran out to a 14-2 lead with 11:43 left in the first half before the Bulldogs started their comeback. Lexus Murry’s free throw with 3:55 remaining concluded a 16-4 Butler run to tie the contest at 18-18.

Daress McClung sank a free throw with 15 seconds before halftime to trim the UIC advantage to 24-23 at the break. UIC limited Butler to 26 percent shooting (8-of-30) in the first half and forced eight turnovers.

The Flames held an eight-point advantage at 46-38 on Hannemann’s layup with 8:57 left in the contest. Butler tied the game for the third time at 53-53 with 3:21 remaining and McClung’s layup with 1:43 on the clock narrowed the UIC lead to 57-55. The Flames scored five straight points to pull away for their sixth straight win.

Story, who poured in 15 second-half points on 6-of-7 shooting, had an all-around strong performance with five rebounds, five assists and three steals. She also sank all three of her second half free throw attempts to help UIC seal the victory. The Flames are undefeated (6-0) with Story in the lineup and she has been in double-figures in nine straight contests dating back to last season.

Campbell recorded her Horizon League-leading sixth double-double of the season. She added two blocks and two steals in 36 minutes on the floor. Campbell, who has been in double-figures every game this season, had eight points and six rebounds in the first half.

Hannemann had a team-high nine points on 4-of-5 shooting in the first half. She collected seven points and seven rebounds in the second half. Hannemann has been in double-figures in seven consecutive contests.

Senior Emily Kobel finished with six points, four rebounds and two assists in 33 minutes. She was 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and needs four more three-pointers (103 career three-pointers) to enter the program’s Top 10.

Sophomore Terri Bender set a career-high with six steals to go along with five points, five rebounds and two assists. The Flames had 12 steals as a team and forced 15 Butler turnovers.

UIC is next in action Dec. 18 when the Flames travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. to take on Western Michigan (3-5). Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT inside University Arena. A win would match the 2001-02 squad for the best nine-game start (7-2) in the Division I era.