Flames Seek Four Straight Wins Saturday Against Cleveland State
Jan. 24, 2014
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: UIC 69, Valparaiso 51 (Jan. 21)
A LOOK AT CLEVELAND STATE
UIC GAME NOTES
SEEKING FOUR STRAIGHT WINS
The UIC women's basketball team (14-4, 3-2 HL) seeks its fourth straight victory Saturday (Jan. 25) when the Flames play host to Cleveland State (8-10, 3-2 HL). Tip-off with the Vikings is set for 3 p.m. CT inside the UIC Pavilion. The Flames' 14-4 record is the program's best start in the Division I era (1980-present).
LAST TIME OUT
UIC won its third straight game Tuesday (Jan. 21) with a 69-51 home victory over Valparaiso (2-15, 0-4 HL) at the UIC Pavilion. The Flames out-scored the Crusaders 35-15 in the second half and finished the contest on a 19-1 run. Katie Hannemann scored a game-high 18 points to lead three Flames in double-figures.
The Flames hit 13 of their 18 free throws during the 19-1 run. Rachel Story’s layup (7:42), Megan Wallace’s tip-in (7:02) and Melita Emanuel-Carr’s layup (0:47) were the three field goals during the run. Overall, UIC held Valparaiso to 16 percent shooting (5-of-30) in the second half. The Crusaders were 0-of-12 from beyond the arc after halftime.
Valpo out-rebounded UIC (19-15) in the first half but the Flames responded in the second half. UIC held a 30-13 advantage on the boards after halftime to take control of the game. The Flames grabbed 17 offensive rebounds overall and scored 32 points in the paint.
SCOUTING CLEVELAND STATE
Cleveland State had to replace a first-team All-League performer as the Vikings lost Shalonda Winton to graduation. The Vikings were picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll. Junior forward Imani Gordon has stepped up for the Vikings as she leads the squad with 17.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game while playing a League-high 37.7 minutes per contest.
Junior guard Cori Coleman was named Preseason Second-Team All-League and ranks third on the team with 14.4 points per game. Fellow junior guard Kiersten Green contributes 15.0 points and 3.0 assists per contest.
The Vikings and Flames own three common non-conference opponents this season. Cleveland State defeated Ohio (Dec. 5) while losing to both Butler (Nov. 8) and Miami (Dec. 29). UIC defeated all three opponents during the 11-game win streak (Nov. 15-Jan. 3).
Cleveland State won both meetings with UIC last season, including a 73-69 overtime victory at the UIC Pavilion (1/9/13). The Vikings defeated the Flames at home on Feb. 11, 2013 by a score of 75-69. Rachel Story scored 20 points while Katie Hannemann added 18 points and 11 rebounds.
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. 21), UIC came in at No. 25 with 63 total votes.
Wright State (No. 12) and Green Bay (No. 18) 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 (17-3) 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. 111 in the rankings behind only Wright State (110) 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 (106) and Ohio (131).
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 rebounding margin, 40th in win-lost percentage, 88th in scoring offense and 93rd in scoring margin.
LEADING THE LAND OF LINCOLN
Three weeks into conference play, UIC is tied with DePaul for the most victories (14) amongst all Division I Illinois programs. Northwestern owns 12 wins while Western Illinois (10) reached double-figures last night.
The rest of the state programs include Illinois (9), Eastern Illinois (8), 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 (+8.6) and offensive rebounds (16.8 per game). The Flames also rank second in scoring defense (64.8 ppg) and third in blocked shots (2.9 bpg).
UIC's strong inside play has helped the Flames score an average of 71.9 points per contest, good for third in the Horizon League. Last season, the Flames averaged 62.5 points per contest through 18 games (6-12 record).
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 26.8 attempts per game this season. Through 18 games of the 2012-13 campaign, the Flames made an average of 11.3 free throws on 17.3 attempts per contest.
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 (+7.1 to -5.9), rebounding margin (+8.6 to -2.0), field-goal percentage (.412 to .376) and three-point field-goal percentage (.315 to .282).
CAMPBELL FILLS UP THE STAT SHEET
Redshirt sophomore Ruvanna Campbell scored 15 points against Valparaiso for her team-high 17th double-digit effort. This performance came after a career-high 21 rebounds to go along with 16 points at Oakland (Jan. 18). 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 (10.7 rpg) and offensive rebounds (4.3 per game). She also ranks second in field-goal percentage (.505), third in blocks (1.3 bpg), ninth in scoring (14.8 ppg) and tenth in steals (1.7 spg).
Campbell owns four 20-point efforts, which ranks second on the squad. She 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.
THE SCORING STORY
Senior Rachel Story scored nine points against Valparaiso to snap her 18-game double-digit streak dating back to last season. This performance came after 25 points at Oakland (Jan. 18) for her seventh 20-point performance this season.
Story is averaging 17.7 points and shooting 34.6 percent from downtown (27-of-78). She ranks fourth in the Horizon League in scoring, third in minutes played (36.4 per game), seventh in free-throw percentage (.784) and 11th in three-pointers made (1.7 per game). Story also contributes 1.6 steals per contest.
Story has been named the Horizon League's "Player of the Week" twice this season (Nov. 25 and Dec. 23). Story (751 career points) reached the 700-point milestone against Youngstown State (Jan. 11). She needs 96 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 fifth in the Horizon League with 8.2 caroms per contest. Additionally, she ranks third in the conference in offensive rebounds (3.3 per game).
Hannemann scored a game-high 18 points against Valparaiso for her 14th double-digit performance this season. She scores 13.0 points per contest and ranks seventh in the Horizon League in field-goal percentage (.476). Hannemann has posted five double-doubles this season, including 15 points and 14 rebounds at Oakland (Jan. 18).
Hannemann (822 career points) reached the 800-point milestone at Oakland (Jan. 18) and needs 25 more points this season to enter the program's Top 20 scorers. Hannemann (493 career rebounds) is also on pace to enter the program's Top 10 rebounders.
BENDER'S STELLAR DEFENSE
Sophomore Terri Bender is playing the best defense of her career as she leads the Horizon League in steals (2.7 spg). Bender collected one steal against Valparaiso and owns 26 steals over the last eight games (3.2 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 9.1 points per contest after 6.3 per game last season. She has scored in double-figures in a career-high four straight contests and has averaged 13.2 points per game over that span.
Bender’s 3.7 assists per game rank seventh in the Horizon League. Bender is also pulling down 4.7 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 123rd career three-pointer against Valparaiso, which ranks seventh all-time in program history. She needs six 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 140 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 tenth in the conference in made three-pointers (1.9 per contest), ninth in minutes played (32.9 per game) and 12th in three-point field-goal percentage (.351).
Kobel has also pulled down 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.