Jan. 8, 2013
Setting the Stage
The Flames will begin its 19th Horizon League season on Wednesday against the Cleveland State Vikings. UIC is 3-1 in its last four HL openers and 9-9 since joining the league in the 1994-95 season. The contest will be the 61st meeting between the two schools as the all-time series is tied at 30-30. The Flames won the most recent match up against the Vikings back on Feb. 11, 2012 by final of 72-50, played at the Flames Athletic Center. UIC has won the last two homes games versus CSU, but has dropped nine of its last 11 overall meetings.
Scouting the Vikings
Cleveland State enters Wednesday's game with an 8-5 overall record, winning seven of their last eight contests. After beginning the season 1-4, the Vikings went on a seven-game winning streak that included an unblemished record of 6-0 for the month of December. Senior Shalonda Winton is making her case for Horizon League Player of the Year as she leads the team in points (21.7), rebounds (10.8) and assists (4.8). She is also the only Division-I player to have posted two triple-doubles this season (Dec. 8 & 30).
131 More to Go
Senior Taylor Foulks needs just 131 more points to reach 1,000 for her career. If Foulks does eclipse the four-digit milestone then she will become just the 18th player in program history to do so. The Flames have at least 17 games left this season, so in order for Foulks to reach 1,000 career points she will need to average 7.7 points per game, which is well below her career average of 8.4.
Wednesday's match up features two of the best players in the Horizon League in Rachel Story and Shalonda Winton. Story and Winton are the only two players in the conference to average at least 15.3 points, 4.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. Winton posted a season-high of 31 points against Nevada earlier this year and has eight 20-point games, while Story netted a season-high of 28 versus Illinois State and owns four games of 20 points or more.
Miller in League Openers
Regina Miller owns a 9-8 overall record in conference openers during her 17 years as a head coach. She went 3-3 at Western Illinois and then 6-4 at UNLV before dropping last year's opener to nationally-ranked Green Bay, 63-80. Miller led the Flames to a 10-8 mark in the Horizon League last season, which stands as the program's best conference record in five years.
Sweet Home Chicago
Despite owning a 4-9 overall record, the Flames tout a 4-3 mark this season when playing at the UIC Pavilion. Head coach Regina Miller has enjoyed a home court advantage during her Flames tenure, compiling a home record of 17-7. The Flames are also averaging 17 points per game more when comparing home versus away contests (68.0 to 51.0). Last season, the Flames posted the second-most home wins in school history with 13.
Hannemann Stepping Up
Redshirt junior Katie Hannemann showed up to play against Big Ten-foe Indiana with a career-high 20 points and nine made field goals. So far this season, Hannemann has nine double-digit scoring performances and two double-doubles. The six-foot one-inch center has 157 points and 96 rebounds through 13 games this season, which more than doubles last year' marks of 45 and 42, respectively through 13 contests.
Newcomers Called Upon
UIC graduated a league-high of almost 60 percent of its minutes played last season and over 70 percent of its scoring. Freshmen and transfers have been needed to fill that void as the newcomers account for 43.2 percent of the team's minutes played so far this season, tops among all Horizon League programs.
Block Party for Wallace
Junior Megan Wallace pilots the Horizon League in blocked shots with an average of 1.9 swats per game. She also leads the conference in total blocks with 25 despite playing just 18.1 minutes per game. The next closest Horizon League player to Wallace is Cleveland State's Shalonda Winton with 14 total swats as she has seen 503 minutes of court time compared to Wallace's 235. The Flames pace the league in blocks per game with an average of 4.3.
Senior Taylor Foulks ranks tied-for-third in the country with her 7-of-9 (.778) single-game performance from behind the arc against SIUE on Nov. 15. Her seven made threes also ranks tied-for-12th in the nation and stands as tied-for-the-top mark in the Horizon League this season. Foulks has drilled 194 career treys and sits fifth on UIC's all-time made threes list. The top spot his held by Hall of Famer Joanne McCarthy with 238.
Weekly League Honors
Freshman Terri Bender was selected as the Horizon League's Newcomer of the Week for the period of Dec. 24-30, for her efforts in a home win against Western Michigan on Dec. 28. Bender poured in a career-high 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while grabbing six boards and three steals. In the last six games, Bender is averaging 8.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per outing. Junior transfer Rachel Story earned Newcomer of the Week accolades earlier in the year on Nov. 26.