Flames Seek Five Straight Wins Wednesday at Milwaukee|
Jan. 27, 2014
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: UIC 83, Cleveland State 78 (Jan. 25)
A LOOK AT MILWAUKEE
UIC GAME NOTES
SEEKING FIVE STRAIGHT WINS
The UIC women's basketball team (15-4, 4-2 HL) seeks its fifth straight victory Wednesday (Jan. 29) when the Flames play at Milwaukee (6-12, 2-3 HL). Tip-off with the Panthers is set for 7 p.m. CT inside the Klotsche Center.
UIC’s 15-4 overall record is the program’s best mark through 19 games in the Division I era (1980-present). The Flames are 4-2 through the first six Horizon League contests for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.
LAST TIME OUT
UIC won its fourth straight game Saturday (Jan. 25) with an 83-78 home victory over Cleveland State (8-11, 3-3 HL) at the UIC Pavilion. Senior Rachel Story scored a career-high 34 points and hit 4-of-6 shots from beyond the arc.
Redshirt sophomore Ruvanna Campbell scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season. UIC dominated inside with a 48-30 points-in-the paint advantage and 24 second-chance points.
Milwaukee, who returned three starters and five of their top six scorers from last season, was picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll. The Panthers are led by senior guard Angela Rodriguez – a preseason First-Team All-HL selection - who leads UWM in scoring (17.1 ppg) and tops the Horizon League in assists (6.0 apg).
Junior forward Ashley Green chips in 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, sophomore forward Anyanna Young nearly posts a double-double per contest (12.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg). She averaged 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2012-13.
The Panthers and Flames both played the Wisconsin Badgers during non-conference play. Milwaukee dropped its season-opener (Nov. 14) at home to Wisconsin by a score of 85-60. Rachel Story scored a game-high 25 points and hit the game-winning three-pointer with 20 seconds left in UIC’s 58-56 road victory over the Badgers (Dec. 21).
Milwaukee and UIC split the season series during the 2012-13 campaign. Katie Hannemann poured in 29 points in UIC’s 84-67 home victory on Feb. 7, 2013. In the last meeting between the schools (3/7/13), Ashley Green scored 18 points to lead the Panthers to a 72-63 home win inside the Klotsche Center.
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. 28), UIC came in at No. 23 with 90 total votes.
Wright State (No. 15) and Green Bay (No. 19) 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 (18-3) is ranked No. 1 in the poll and No. 22 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 Green Bay (102) and Wright State (110) amongst Horizon League programs.
The Flames collected a victory over a top 100 program in Wisconsin, who ranks No. 83. UIC also picked up a win over a top 150 program in Butler (124).
UIC IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Per the Jan. 26 NCAA report, UIC ranks in the top 100 nationally in many statistical categories. The Flames are 27th in rebounding margin (+8.2), 34th in win-lost percentage (.789), 77th in scoring offense (72.5 ppg), 90th in scoring margin (+7.0) and 94th in three-point field-goal defense (.294).
Individually, Ruvanna Campbell ranks 16th in rebounding (11.1 rpg), 20th in double-doubles (11) and 66th in field-goal percentage (.513). Terri Bender ranks 23rd in steals (2.7 spg) and Rachel Story is 68th in scoring (18.6 ppg).
LEADING THE LAND OF LINCOLN
Three weeks into conference play, UIC is tied with DePaul for the most victories (15) amongst all Division I Illinois programs. Northwestern owns 13 wins while Western Illinois (10) reached double-figures last week.
The rest of the state programs include Illinois (9), Eastern Illinois (8), Loyola Chicago (8), Northern Illinois (7), SIUE (5), Bradley (4), Illinois State (4), Southern Illinois (4) 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 (+8.2) and offensive rebounds (16.7 per game). The Flames are 15-1 this season when out-rebounding their opponent.
The Flames also rank second in scoring defense (65.5 ppg) and third in blocked shots (2.8 bpg). UIC's strong inside play has helped the Flames score an average of 72.5 points per contest, good for third in the Horizon League. Last season, the Flames averaged 62.1 points per contest through 19 games (6-13 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 19 games of the 2012-13 campaign, the Flames made an average of 10.9 free throws on 16.6 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. UIC is 12-1 this season when attempting more free throws than its opponent.
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 (+7.0 to -6.3), rebounding margin (+8.2 to -2.1), field-goal percentage (.417 to .379) and three-point field-goal percentage (.315 to .284).
CAMPBELL FILLS UP THE STAT SHEET
Redshirt sophomore Ruvanna Campbell scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season against Cleveland State. Campbell also set career-highs in field goals made (12) and field goal attempts (20).
It was her fifth 20-point effort and fourth 15-plus rebound performance of the season. Campbell’s career high of 21 rebounds at Oakland (Jan. 18) are the sixth highest nationally in a single game this season and the fourth best in program history.
Campbell leads the Horizon League in double-doubles (11), rebounds (11.1 rpg) and offensive rebounds (4.5 per game). The last UIC player to average over 11 rebounds a contest was Tracy Manuel in 1983-84.
Campbell also ranks second in the conference in field-goal percentage (.513), third in blocks (1.3 bpg), eighth in scoring (15.4 ppg) and tenth in steals (1.6 spg). 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.
STORY’S CAREER HIGH
Senior Rachel Story scored a career-high 34 points and hit 4-of-6 shots from beyond the arc against Cleveland State. Story became the first UIC player to score over 30 points since Katie Hannemann (35) on Feb. 21, 2013 against Wright State.
Story’s performance is the fifth highest in program history and second highest in the Horizon League this season (Wright State’s Ivory James scored 35 at Murray State). There have been nine 30-point performances in the conference thus far.
Story is averaging 18.3 points and shooting 36.9 percent from downtown (31-of-84). She ranks fourth in the Horizon League in scoring, third in minutes played (36.6 per game), fifth in free-throw percentage (.793), ninth in three-point field-goal percentage and tenth in three-pointers made (1.8 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 (785 career points) reached the 700-point milestone against Youngstown State (Jan. 11). She needs 62 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 8.0 caroms per contest. Additionally, she ranks third in the conference in offensive rebounds (3.2 per game).
Hannemann scored a game-high 18 points against Valparaiso (Jan. 21) for her 14th double-digit performance this season. She scores 12.8 points per contest and ranks eighth in the Horizon League in field-goal percentage (.472). Hannemann has posted five double-doubles this season, including 15 points and 14 rebounds at Oakland (Jan. 18).
Hannemann (831 career points) reached the 800-point milestone at Oakland (Jan. 18) and needs 16 more points this season to enter the program's Top 20 scorers. Hannemann (497 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 three steals against Cleveland State and owns 29 steals over the last nine 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 9.0 points per contest after 6.3 per game last season. Bender’s 3.8 assists per game rank seventh in the Horizon League. Bender is also pulling down 4.4 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 (Jan. 21), 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 is knocking down 33.7 percent of her three-point attempts (34-of-101) and 81.8 percent of her free throws (18-of-22). She ranks 11th in the conference in made three-pointers (1.8 per contest) and tenth in minutes played (32.9 per game).
Kobel has also pulled down a career-high 4.8 rebounds per game. 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.