Jan. 23, 2013
Setting the Stage
Thursday’s contest is the 48th all-time meeting between UIC and Wright State as the Flames own a 27-20 series record advantage. The Raiders won both matchups last season by a slim margin of six points per game; however the Flames have won nine of the past 13 gatherings. UIC is in sole possession of second place in the Horizon League with a 2-1 record, trailing Green Bay with a 4-0 conference mark. Wright State is currently tied-for-third with a 2-2 HL record, matching Cleveland State’s 2-2 mark.
Scouting the RAIDERS
Wright State enters the mid-week contest with an 8-9 overall record and a 2-2 Horizon League mark. WSU won its most previous game at Loyola by a final score of 67-56 this past Saturday after dropping two straight against Green Bay and Detroit. The Raiders are led by preseason Horizon League Player of the Year Kim Demmings as she is averaging 20.1 points per game.
Freshman Terri Bender has staked her claim as to one of the top freshmen in the Horizon League. Bender has set career-highs in her last two games with outputs of 20 and 22 points, respectively, with 39 of those points coming in the second half. She is the fourth-ranked freshmen in the league in scoring (7.3), assists (2.4) and ranks second in steals (1.9). The Milwaukee native has earned the conference’s Newcomer of the Week award twice already this season (Dec. 31 and Jan. 14) and since her promotion to the starting lineup nine games ago, UIC is 5-4 with Bender averaging nearly 11 points per game.
Off to a Great Start
After a lackluster 4-9 non-conference record, UIC has begun the Horizon League season with a 2-1 mark, sitting second in the standings. Among conference games, the Flames rank first in scoring offense with a 74.7 points per game average and rank tied-for-first in steals (12.0) with Green Bay. UIC also ranks second in scoring margin (+4.7), assists (16.7), and rebounding (41.3).
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 and 4.3 assists 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.
Senior Taylor Foulks posted her first career double-double against Valparaiso this past Saturday with 10 points and 11 rebounds. She is one of just two players on the Flames’ roster to have tallied a double-double this season as redshirt junior Katie Hannemann has recorded two.
Hannemann Playing Big
Redshirt junior Katie Hannemann has been a consistent force on the low block for UIC this season. The six-foot one-inch center recently tied a career-high with 20 points against Valparaiso this past Saturday and shot 7-of-12 from the field. She is averaging 12.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, which is a significant improvement from last season’s marks of 3.9 and 3.2, respectively.
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 43.9 percent of the team’s minutes played so far this season, tops among all Horizon League programs.
Senior Taylor Foulks has crept up on numerous UIC career leaderboards this season and remains just 99 points away from reaching the 1,000. If Foulks reaches the four-digit milestone then she will be just the 18th player in program history to do so. The Joliet, Ill., native, ranks fifth in made threes (199), eighth in steals (192) and 11th in blocked shots (58).
Block Party for Wallace
Junior Megan Wallace pilots the Horizon League and ranks 49th in the nation in blocked shots with an average of 1.7 per game. She also leads the conference in total blocks with 27 despite playing just 19.4 minutes per game. The next closest Horizon League player to Wallace is Cleveland State’s Shalonda Winton with 20 total swats as she has seen 657 minutes of court time compared to Wallace’s 310. The Flames pace the league in blocks per game with an average of 4.1.
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.
Kobel From Downtown
Junior Emily Kobel has been a consistent threat for UIC from behind the arc all season. To date, Kobel is 30-of-88 from long range and is on pace to crack the single-season leaderboard for made threes, needing just 27 more. Kobel leads the team in made threes and ranks ninth in the Horizon League.