Jan. 18, 2013
Setting the Stage
Saturday's contest will be the 38th meeting between UIC and Valparaiso as the Crusaders own the all-time series record of 20-17. The Flames have won four straight over Valpo with season sweeps the past two years as the Flames own a 6-1 record in the last seven matchups. UIC also has the advantage when playing at home with a 10-7 edge. The last time UIC lost to Valpo was nearly three years ago on March 6, 2010.
Scouting the Crusaders
Valparaiso enters Saturday's game with a 6-9 overall record and a 1-1 mark in the Horizon League, winning three of its last four contests. The Crusaders earned a season-opening win against Big Ten-foe Indiana on Nov. 9, but then dropped eight of their next 10 match ups. Valpo is led by junior forward Tabitha Gerardot with averages of 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Gerardot is also the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week for her 26 points and 17 rebounds against Youngstown State on Jan. 12.
109 More to Go
Senior Taylor Foulks needs just 109 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 15 games left this season, so in order for Foulks to reach 1,000 career points she will need to average 7.3 points per game, which is well below her career average of 8.5.
Freshman Terri Bender has staked her claim as to one of the best freshmen in the Horizon League. She is the reigning conference Newcomer of the Week after netting a career-high 20 points against Loyola on Jan. 12, all in the second half. Bender also earned the award earlier in the season on Dec. 31. She is the fourth-ranked freshmen in the league in scoring (6.3), assists (2.6) and ranks third in steals (1.7). Since her promotion to the starting lineup eight games ago, UIC is 4-4 and Bender is averaging 9.5 points per outing.
Junior Rachel Story finds herself in elite company midway through the 2012-13 season. She is one of just two Horizon League players to average more than 15.3 points, 4.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. Joining her is preseason All-League First Team member Shalonda Winton of Cleveland State who ranks top two in the HL in all three categories. Story is also just one of five HL players to have five or more 20-point outings this year.
Great Second Act!
In last Saturday's 73-62 win over Loyola, UIC outscored the Ramblers 40-28 in the second half. Terri Bender led the way with 20 points, being aided by Rachel Story with 14. The duo combined to shoot 10-of-14 from the field in the final period as the team notched a season-best 13-of-20 (65%). The Flames also drilled four of their six three-point attempts, while holding Loyola to just 1-of-10 from the outside.
Hannemann Stepping Up
Redshirt junior Katie Hannemann is taking the next step in her collegiate career with a dramatic increase in production. Currently, she has 180 points and 106 rebounds which already outnumber last year's full-season totals of 117 and 97, respectively. So far this year she has posted 10 double-digit scoring performances and three double-digit rebounding games. Against Big Ten-foe Indiana, she posted a career-high of 20 points as the Hoosiers had no answer for her in the paint. She is averaging nearly 15 more minutes per game than 2011-12 and stands as the only UIC player to start every single game for the Flames this season.
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 43.5 percent of the team's minutes played so far this season, tops among all Horizon League programs.
Picking Your Pocket
Senior Taylor Foulks is now in sole possession of ninth-place on UIC's career steals list with 188. She needs just three more to move past LeKesha Williams for eighth on that list and 11 more for the seventh spot. Currently, she ranks fifth in the Horizon League with 1.9 steals per game. If Foulks can nab 12 more steals then she will become just the seventh player in program history to reach 200 for a career.
Block Party for Wallace
Junior Megan Wallace pilots the Horizon League and ranks 49th in the nation in blocked shots with an average of 1.8 per game. She also leads the conference in total blocks with 27 despite playing just 19.5 minutes per game. The next closest Horizon League player to Wallace is Cleveland State's Shalonda Winton with 17 total swats as she has seen 620 minutes of court time compared to Wallace's 292. The Flames pace the league in blocks per game with an average of 4.2.
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.