Flames Shoot For Three Straight Wins Tuesday Against Valparaiso
Jan. 20, 2014
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: UIC 78, Oakland 65 (Jan. 18)
A LOOK AT VALPARAISO
UIC GAME NOTES
SEEKING THREE STRAIGHT WINS
The UIC women's basketball team (13-4, 2-2 HL) seeks its third straight victory Tuesday (Jan. 21) when the Flames play host to Valparaiso (2-14, 0-3 HL). Tip-off with the Crusaders is set for 7 p.m. CT inside the UIC Pavilion. The Flames' 13-4 record is the program's best start in the Division I era (1980-present).
LAST TIME OUT
UIC evened its conference record Saturday (Jan. 18) with a 78-65 road win over Oakland (7-10, 2-2 HL) at the Athletics Center O’rena. Rachel Story scored a game-high 25 points to lead four Flames in double-figures.
UIC out-rebounded Oakland 57-36 and collected a season-high 24 offensive rebounds. The Flames had 18 of their 24 offensive rebounds in the second half. The 57 rebounds are also a season high and the most since Dec. 14, 2012 against Roosevelt. All of UIC’s 28 points in the paint were second-chance points. The Flames are 13-1 this season when winning the battle on the boards.
The Flames were 26-of-40 from the charity stripe, the seventh time this season UIC has made 20-plus free throws. UIC held Oakland to 32 percent shooting (22-of-68) from the field.
Valparaiso rounded out the preseason poll in ninth place. The Crusaders lost their top three-scorers from last season. Valpo tops the Horizon League with a .797 free throw percentage, which ranks third in the nation.
Valpo is led by senior guard Charae Richardson, who averages 11.2 points and 3.1 assists per contest. Junior forward Sharon Karungi contributes 10.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
The Crusaders and Flames own two common non-conference opponents this season. Valpo dropped home contests to both Butler (Dec. 13) and Western Michigan (Dec. 29) while UIC defeated both programs on the road.
Valpo has won the last two meetings with UIC, including a 67-57 victory in the first round of last year’s Horizon League Tournament. The Flames won at home last season (1/19/13) with an 82-75 victory. Terri Bender notched a career-high with 22 points and Katie Hannemann poured in 20.
COLLEGEINSIDER.COM MID-MAJOR TOP 25 POLL
After weeks of being in the "Others Receiving Votes" section, UIC cracked the Top 25 of the Jan. 7 edition of CollegeInsider.com'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 (16-3) is ranked No. 1 in the poll and No. 25 in the AP Top 25.
UIC IN NCAA'S RPI RANKINGS
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. 119 in the rankings behind only Wright State (109) amongst Horizon League programs.
The Flames collected a victory over a top 100 program in Wisconsin, who ranks No. 58. UIC also owns two wins over top 150 programs in Butler (110) and Ohio (133).
UIC IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Per the Jan. 19 NCAA report, UIC ranks in the top 100 nationally in many statistical categories. The Flames are 25th in rebound margin (+8.4), 40th in win-lost percentage (.765), 88th in scoring offense (72.1 ppg) and 93rd in scoring margin (+6.5).
Individually, Ruvanna Campbell ranks 17th in rebounding (11.0 rpg), 20th in double-doubles (10) and 94th in field-goal percentage (.495). Terri Bender ranks 22nd in steals (2.82 spg) and Rachel Story is 78th in scoring (18.3 ppg).
LEADING THE LAND OF LINCOLN
Two weeks into conference play, UIC is tied with DePaul for the most victories (13) amongst all Division I Illinois programs. Northwestern owns 12 wins while Western Illinois (9) has yet to reach double-figures.
The rest of the state programs include Illinois (8), Eastern Illinois (7), Northern Illinois (7), Loyola Chicago (7), SIUE (5), Bradley (4), Illinois State (4), Southern Illinois (3) and Chicago State (3).
FLAMES DOMINATING THE PAINT
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 (+8.4) and offensive rebounds (16.8 per game). The Flames also rank second in scoring defense (65.6 ppg) and third in blocked shots (2.6 bpg).
UIC's strong inside play has helped the Flames score an average of 72.1 points per contest, good for third in the Horizon League. The Flames averaged 62.2 points per game over the first 17 games (6-11 record) of last season.
CHARITY STRIPE VISITS
One of UIC's biggest improvements since last season has been taking advantage of the free throw line. UIC has made an average of 18.1 free throws on 27.0 attempts per game this season. Over the first 17 games of the 2012-13 campaign, the Flames made an average of 11.5 free throws on 17.8 attempts per game.
UIC has already made 20-plus free throws seven 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 (+6.5 to -5.9), rebounding margin (+8.4 to -1.5), field-goal percentage (.413 to .371) and three-point field-goal percentage (.324 to .275).
CAMPBELL’S 21 REBOUNDS AT OAKLAND
Redshirt sophomore Ruvanna Campbell grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds to go along with 16 points at Oakland. The last UIC player with at least 20 rebounds was Dejeanette Flournoy (23) on Dec. 14, 2003. Her 21 rebounds are the fifth highest nationally in a single game this season and the fourth best in program history.
Campbell leads the Horizon League in double-doubles (10), rebounds (11.0 rpg) and offensive rebounds (4.3 per game). She also ranks third in field-goal percentage (.495), third in blocks (1.2 bpg), tenth in steals (1.8 spg) and tenth in scoring (14.8 ppg).
Campbell has a team-high 16 double-digit scoring efforts. She also owns four 20-point efforts, which ranks second on the squad. Campbell was named the Horizon League's "Player of the Week" on Jan. 6.
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.
STORY'S DOUBLE-DIGIT STREAK
Senior Rachel Story scored a game-high 25 points at Oakland for her seventh 20-point performance this season. She has been in double-figures in 18 straight contests dating back to last season.
Story was a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe at Oakland. It was the best UIC free throw performance since Shamiea Green went 10-for-10 against Eastern Illinois on Dec. 22, 2011.
Story is averaging 18.3 points and shooting 37.5 percent from downtown (27-of-72). She ranks fourth in the Horizon League in scoring, third in minutes played (36.5 per game), eighth in free-throw percentage (.789), ninth in three-point field goal percentage and 11th in three-pointers made (1.8 per game). Story also contributes 1.7 steals per contest.
Story has been named the Horizon League's "Player of the Week" twice this season (Nov. 25 and Dec. 23). Story (742 career points) reached the 700-point milestone against Youngstown State (Jan. 11). She needs 105 more points this season to enter the program's Top 20 scorers.
HANNEMANN CLEANS UP THE GLASS
Redshirt senior Katie Hannemann has helped UIC lead the conference in rebounding as she ranks fourth in the Horizon League with 8.3 caroms per contest. Additionally, she ranks third in the conference in offensive rebounds (3.4 per game).
Hannemann had 15 points and 14 rebounds at Oakland for her fifth double-double of the 2013-14 campaign. She has been in double-figures on 13 occasions this season. Hannemann scores 12.7 points per contest and ranks 12th in the Horizon League in field-goal percentage (.463).
Hannemann (804 career points) reached the 800-point milestone at Oakland and needs 43 more points this season to enter the program's Top 20 scorers. Hannemann (486 career rebounds) is also on pace to enter the program's Top 15 rebounders.
BENDER'S STELLAR DEFENSE
Sophomore Terri Bender is playing the best defense of her career as she leads the Horizon League in steals (2.8 spg). Bender collected two steals at Oakland and owns 25 steals over the last seven games (3.6 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 8.9 points per contest after 6.3 per game last season. Her 3.8 assists per game rank sixth in the Horizon League. Bender is also averaging 4.6 rebounds per game after averaging 2.5 caroms during her freshman season.
Bender picked up her first career double-double at Detroit (Jan. 16) 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. It was her first 20-point performance of the season and third career 20-point effort.
KOBEL MOVES UP THE RECORD BOOK
Senior Emily Kobel drained her 122nd career three-pointer at Oakland, which ranks seventh all-time in program history. She needs seven more triples to move past Sara Petersen (128 - 1994-98) into sixth place. Kobel is on pace to finish her career in sixth place with over 145 made three-pointers.
Kobel was a perfect 5-of-5 from three-point land at Detroit (Jan. 16) and tied her career high of 17 points. The performance is the Horizon League’s most efficient from beyond the arc. Kobel ranks ninth in the conference in made three-pointers (1.9 per contest), eighth in minutes played (32.8 per game) and 12th in three-point field-goal percentage (.355).
Over the last six games, Kobel has drained 48 percent of her three-point attempts (14-of-29). She has averaged 2.3 made three-pointers and 10.0 points over that span.
Kobel has also averaged a career-high 4.9 rebounds. Kobel had averaged 2.1 rebounds per contest in her career entering this season.
WIN STREAK FACTS
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 WIN AT WISCONSIN
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).
THE WIN AT BUTLER
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.
HANNEMANN AND STORY EARN PRESEASON HONORS; UIC PICKED FORTH
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.
TWO NEW ASSISTANT COACHES
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.