Women's Basketball Concludes Michigan Road Trip Against Oakland

Emily Kobel has drained 56 percent of her three-point attempts (13-of-23) over the last five contests
Emily Kobel has drained 56 percent of her three-point attempts (13-of-23) over the last five contests

Jan. 17, 2014


VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: UIC 83, Detroit 67 (Jan. 16) Mid-Major Top 25 Poll (UIC No. 25)

NCAA's RPI Rankings (UIC No. 123)
Hannemann Featured in Horizon League Weekly Release (Jan. 13)
Horizon League Stats
Horizon League Weekly Notes
2013-14 Prospectus
2013-14 Yearbook
Record Book

UIC (12-4, 1-2 HL) at Oakland (7-9, 2-1 HL)
 Date Saturday, Jan. 18
 Time 1 p.m. CT
 Location Rochester, Mich. | Athletics Center O'rena
 Live Stats
 Watch Horizon League Network
 Game Notes UIC Flames | Oakland Golden Grizzlies
 Social Media


 2013-14 Overall Stats UIC Flames | Oakland Golden Grizzlies
 2013-14 HL Only Stats UIC Flames | Oakland Golden Grizzlies

Nickname: Golden Grizzlies
Conference: Horizon League
Head Coach: Jeff Tungate (1st season)
2012-13 Record: 9-20 overall, 3-13 in Summit League play (9th)
Series History: OU leads 2-0
Last Meeting: OU won 48-45 (12/11/11 @ OU)
Series Streak: OU has won two straight
2013-14 Leader in:
Points - Elena Popkey (13.0 ppg)
Rebounds - Olivia Nash (8.0 rpg)
Assists - Elena Popkey (4.0 apg)
Steals - Victoria Lipscomb (2.1 spg)
Blocked Shots - Kim Bee (1.9 bpg)


The UIC women's basketball team (12-4, 1-2 HL) concludes its Michigan road trip Saturday (Jan. 18) when the Flames play at Oakland (7-9, 2-1 HL). Tip-off with the Golden Grizzlies is set for 1 p.m. CT inside the Athletics Center O'rena. The Flames' 12-4 record is the program's best 16-game start in the Division I era (1980-present).

UIC picked up its first Horizon League victory Thursday (Jan. 16) with an 83-67 road win over Detroit (3-14, 0-4 HL) at Calihan Hall. Terri Bender (20 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and five steals) led five Flames in double-figures with her first career double-double.

UIC out-rebounded Detroit 48-23 and collected a season-high 17 steals. The Flames are 12-1 this season when winning the battle on the boards. UIC tied a season high with 23 offensive rebounds and tallied 18 second-chance points.

UIC forced a season-high 23 turnovers and scored 28 points off Detroit's miscues. The Flames scored 44 points in the paint and allowed a season-low two offensive rebounds. Led by Kobel's performance, UIC shot 44 percent from three-point range (8-of-18).

Oakland is in its first season in the Horizon League after 14 years in The Summit League. The Golden Grizzlies were picked eighth in the preseason poll.

The Horizon League newcomers returned their top-three scorers from last season led by sophomore Olivia Nash, who was selected to the Preseason Second-Team after being named The Summit League Freshman of the Year. Nash is averaging 12.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest.

Elena Popkey leads the Golden Grizzlies in scoring (13.0 ppg) and assists (4.0 apg) while Bethany Watterworth contributes 11.1 points per contest and converts a Horizon-League high 53.4 percent of her field goals. Senior forward Kim Bee averages 9.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and a League-high 1.9 blocks per game.

The Golden Grizzlies and Flames own one common opponent this season. Rachel Story scored 25 points and the Flames defeated Western Michigan, 71-61, on the road (Dec. 18). Four days later (Dec. 22), Nash scored 20 points and Watterworth added 17 as Oakland picked up a 72-62 road win over Western Michigan.

Oakland has won both meetings with UIC, including a 48-45 home victory on Dec. 11, 2011. In that meeting, Oakland's Sharice Calhoun sank a last-second half-court shot to defeat the Flames.

After weeks of being in the "Others Receiving Votes" section, UIC cracked the Top 25 of the Jan. 7 edition of's Mid-Major Poll. The Flames debuted at No. 22 after receiving 119 votes in the ninth edition of this season's poll. In the most recent poll (Jan. 14), UIC came in at No. 25 with 58 total votes.

Wright State (No. 12) and Green Bay (No. 16) also represent the Horizon League in the poll. The most renowned mid-major head coaches in the country make up the voting panel for the poll, which is in its fourth year of existence. Gonzaga (14-3) is ranked No. 1 in the poll and No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

UIC's 11-game win streak (Nov. 15-Jan. 3) helped the Flames to their highest RPI ranking of the season (64). UIC currently sits No. 123 in the rankings behind two Horizon League programs in Wright State (108) and Green Bay (116).

The Flames collected a victory over a top 100 program in Wisconsin, who ranks No. 62. UIC also owns two wins over top 150 programs in Butler (111) and Ohio (114).

Per the Jan. 16 NCAA report, UIC ranks in the top 100 nationally in many statistical categories. The Flames are 37th in rebounding margin (+7.6), 51st in win-loss percentage (.750), 94th in scoring offense (71.8 ppg) and 98th in scoring margin (+6.1).

Individually, Ruvanna Campbell ranks 21st in double-doubles (9), 34th in rebounding (10.4 rpg) and 70th in field-goal percentage (.511). Terri Bender ranks 21st in steals (2.88 spg), Rachel Story is 91st in scoring (17.8 ppg) and Emily Kobel is 98th in three-point field-goal percentage (.368).

The strong play of Ruvanna Campbell and Katie Hannemann this season has allowed UIC to dominate opponents inside the paint. UIC ranks first in the Horizon League in rebounding margin (+7.6) and offensive rebounds (16.4 per game). The Flames also rank second in scoring defense (65.7 ppg) and third in blocked shots (2.7 bpg).

UIC's strong inside play has helped the Flames score an average of 71.8 points per contest, good for third in the Horizon League. The Flames averaged 62.9 points per game over the first 16 games (6-10 record) of last season.

One of UIC's biggest improvements since last season has been taking advantage of the free throw line. UIC has made an average of 17.6 free throws on 26.2 attempts per game this season. Over the first 16 games of the 2012-13 season, the Flames made an average of 11.8 free throws on 18.1 attempts per game.

UIC has already made 20-plus free throws six times this season while the 2012-13 squad had two 20-plus efforts overall. The Flames' 31 made free throws and 49 attempts against Idaho State (Nov. 15) leads the Horizon League. The Idaho State performance either tied (31 made) or broke (49 attempts) single-game program records.

Other notable areas of improvement over last season include scoring margin (+6.1 to -5.7), rebounding margin (+7.6 to -1.2), turnover margin (+1.1 to -0.2), field-goal percentage (.413 to .375) and three-point field-goal percentage (.327 to .276).

Redshirt sophomore Ruvanna Campbell leads the Horizon League in double-doubles (9), rebounds (10.4 rpg) and offensive rebounds (4.1 per game). She also ranks third in field-goal percentage (.511), third in blocks (1.3 bpg), eighth in steals (1.9 spg) and ninth in scoring (14.7 ppg). Campbell was named the Horizon League's "Player of the Week" on Jan. 6.

Campbell had 13 points and 12 rebounds at Detroit for her ninth double-double of the season. It was her first double-double since Jan. 3 against Roosevelt and team-high 15th double-digit scoring effort. Campbell also owns four 20-point efforts, which ranks second on the squad. 

Campbell's 10-of-11 (.909) shooting performance against Roosevelt (Jan. 3) is the most efficient in the conference thus far. Additionally, her 18-rebound effort against Ohio (Nov. 29) is second best in the Horizon League.

Campbell sat out the entire 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules. She spent one year with La Salle (2011-12) and ranked as the Atlantic 10's top freshmen rebounder (7.6) and shot blocker (1.5). Campbell started 25 games for the Explorers and averaged 28.2 minutes per game.

Senior Rachel Story scored 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting at Detroit. She has been in double-figures in 17 straight contests dating back to last season. Story owns six 20-point performances this season and 17 in her UIC career.

Story is averaging 17.8 points and shooting 36.4 percent from downtown (24-of-66). She ranks fourth in the Horizon League in scoring, third in minutes played (36.7 per game), tenth in free-throw percentage (.770), tenth in three-point field goal percentage and 11th in three-pointers made (1.7 per game). Story also contributes 1.5 steals per contest.

Story has been named the Horizon League's "Player of the Week" twice this season (Nov. 25 and Dec. 23). She was a career-high 5-of-6 from three-point land against Miami (Nov. 23) and set career-highs in made free throws (11) and free throw attempts (15) at Western Michigan (Dec. 18).

Story (717 career points) reached the 700-point milestone against Youngstown State (Jan. 11). She needs 130 more points this season to enter the program's Top 20 scorers.

Redshirt senior Katie Hannemann has helped UIC lead the conference in rebounding as she ranks seventh in the Horizon League with 7.9 caroms per contest. Additionally, she ranks third in the conference in offensive rebounds (3.2 per game).

Hannemann had 14 points and nine rebounds at Detroit for her 12th double-digit scoring effort of the season. She owns four double-doubles this season and nine over her career.

Hannemann scores 12.6 points per contest and is shooting a career-high .709 from the free throw line. She has made 23 out of her last 46 field-goal attempts and ranks tenth in the Horizon League in field-goal percentage (.467).

Hannemann tied a career high by pulling down 15 rebounds against Idaho State (Nov. 15). Hannemann (789 career points) reached the 700-point milestone at Butler (Dec. 7) and needs 58 more points this season to enter the program's Top 20 scorers. Hannemann (472 career rebounds) is also on pace to enter the program's Top 15 rebounders.

Sophomore guard Terri Bender had a career-best performance at Detroit. Bender picked up her first career double-double with 20 points and a career-high 11 assists.

The 11 assists rank fourth in a single game in program history and are second best in the Horizon League this season. Bender's performance is the fifth point-assist double-double in the conference this season.

Bender also set career highs in made field goals (9), field goal attempts (23) and three-point field goal attempts (8). It was her first 20-point performance of the season and third career 20-point effort.

Bender is also playing the best defense of her career as she leads the Horizon League in steals (2.9 spg). Bender collected five steals at Detroit and owns 23 steals over the last six games (3.8 spg). She set a career-high at Butler (Dec. 7) with six steals, which ranks as the Horizon League's second best effort.

Bender is scoring 8.8 points per contest after 6.3 per game last season. Her 3.6 assists per game rank seventh in the Horizon League. Bender is also averaging 4.5 rebounds per game after averaging 2.5 caroms during her freshman season. 

Senior Emily Kobel was a perfect 5-of-5 from three-point land at Detroit and tied her career high of 17 points. She now owns 121 career made three-pointers and passed Shamiea Green (2007-12) into seventh place in program history.

Kobel needs eight more triples to move past Sara Petersen (128 - 1994-98) into sixth place. She is on pace to finish sixth in program history with over 145 made three-pointers.

Kobel has started all 16 contests and is scoring 8.9 points per game. She ranks eighth in the conference in made three-pointers (2.0 per contest), eighth in minutes played (32.8 per game) and ninth in three-point field-goal percentage (.368). 

Over the last five games, Kobel has drained 56 percent of her three-point attempts (13-of-23). She has averaged 2.6 made three-pointers and 10.2 points over that span.

Kobel has also averaged a career-high 4.8 rebounds. Kobel had averaged 2.1 rebounds per contest in her career entering this season.

UIC had its 11-game win streak snapped in a 66-50 loss at Green Bay on Jan. 8. The streak tied the longest win streak in program history, which occurred from Jan. 11-Feb. 24, 2007. The win streak also ranked as the sixth longest in the nation.

Seven of the 11 wins were at road or neutral sites. Additionally, four of the 11 victories were over 2012-13 WNIT participants (Idaho State, Miami Ohio, Texas Southern and Butler).

The win streak was Regina Miller's longest as a head coach. Miller had two 10-game win streaks at UNLV (2001-02 and 2003-04 seasons). The 2001-02 Lady Rebels (23-8) earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament while the 2003-04 squad (26-8) advanced to the WNIT Championship game.

The 58-56 victory at Wisconsin on Dec. 21 was the sixth win over the Badgers in program history and the first in 34 seasons (1979-80 season). It snapped a 13-game win streak by the Badgers in the series.

UIC has collected 25 Big Ten victories in program history and nine since the Flames became a Division I program in 1980-81. The win is UIC's third Big Ten road victory in the Division I era. The Flames have also defeated Northwestern twice away from the UIC Pavilion (2002-03 and 2004-05).

UIC's 62-57 victory at Butler on Dec. 7 marked the program's third road win over a Big East opponent and first in 31 years. The last time the Flames defeated a Big East opponent away from the UIC Pavilion was on Nov. 23, 1982, when UIC pulled out a 76-61 decision at Marquette. UIC's first Big East road victory came at Marquette (66-63) on Feb. 12, 1981.

The win at Butler was also the first victory over a Big East opponent in 12 seasons. UIC's most recent Big East victory came at home against St. John's (65-52) on Nov. 18, 2001. UIC has collected 13 Big East victories in program history and six of those wins came prior to the Division I era.

Katie Hannemann and Rachel Story were voted Preseason First Team All-Horizon League. Additionally, UIC received three first-place votes in the poll and was picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League's preseason poll by the League's head coaches, SIDs and media members.

Both Hannemann and Story had stellar years in 2012-13. Hannemann was voted Second Team All-League while Story was selected to the All-Newcomer squad. The duo combined to average nearly 30 points per game and led the Flames in scoring in 24 of their 29 regular season contests.

UIC head coach Regina Miller added two new assistant coaches to the program over the summer. Eric Simpson, who served as the head coach at Loyola the past four seasons, and Tiffany Sardin, a Chicago native and three-year captain for the University of Virginia, joined the coaching staff in July 2013.

Simpson guided Loyola to their first-ever Horizon League Championship game this past March. The Chicago native and graduate of Northwestern (1994) spent the last seven years at Loyola, including the final four seasons as head coach, where he compiled a record of 57-66 (.463).

Sardin spent last season on the Mt. Olive College coaching staff. As an assistant coach at Mt. Olive, Sardin helped the Trojans compile an 18-12 record and an appearance in the NCAA Division II Championship, marking their second-ever postseason berth.