Jan. 30, 2013
Setting the Stage
Thursday’s game will be the 27th meeting between UIC and Youngstown State as the Flames hold the all-time series advantage with a 17-9 record. UIC won both matchups last season against YSU and have triumphed in 16 of the last 20 gatherings, including seven of the previous eight contests. The Flames also hold a 9-4 edge when playing at the UIC Pavilion with the most recent loss nearly five years ago on March 8, 2008.
Scouting the PENGUINS
Youngstown State enters Thursday’s contest with an overall record of 13-5, which is the program’s best start since 1997-98. The Penguins’ 3-2 Horizon League record puts them in tie for second-place in the standings with Detroit. YSU is piloted by senior forward Brandi Brown who is averaging 20.1 points and a league-high 11.4 rebounds per game, which rank 17th and 10th, respectively, in the nation. As a team, YSU ranks eighth in the country with an average of 8.4 made threes per game.
All three of UIC’s Horizon League losses have come at an average of six points per loss (CSU-4, WSU-8 and UDM-6), which ranks second among conference defeats behind Cleveland State (5 points per loss). The Flames have also held the lead or been tied in the final five minutes of each of those losses.
Junior Rachel Story and redshirt junior Katie Hannemann stand as the only pair of teammates to rank top-10 on the Horizon League’s scoring leaderboard. Story ranks sixth with an average of 14.5 ppg. and Hannemann is tied-for-ninth with a clip of 12.8 ppg., her first appearance on the HL’s top-10 scoring list.
Horizon League Scoring
The Flames rank No. 1 in team scoring in Horizon League games with an average of 68.6 points per outing. UIC enjoys a two-point buffer from second-place Green Bay who is averaging 66.6 ppg. The Flames are scoring more than eight points per game higher than during non-conference action (60.2).
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 14.5 points and 4.2 assists per game or more. 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 one of just five conference players to have five or more 20-point outings this year.
Elevating Her Game
Redshirt Junior Katie Hannemann has elevated her game from last year in a big way. At this point last season, Hannemann had totaled 59 points and 59 rebounds through 18 games. This year, the six-foot center has accumulated 230 points and 125 boards. She has 13 double-digit scoring performances compared to just three in 2011-12 and has set career-highs in nearly every major statistical category.
Freshman Terri Bender is having an outstanding rookie season as she has found a seemingly permanent spot in the starting lineup. Bender is the fourth-ranked freshmen scorer in the Horizon League (7.0 ppg) and also ranks fourth in assists (2.6) and second in steals (1.2). She has collected two Horizon League Newcomer of the Week awards (Dec. 31 and Jan. 14) and owns two 20-point outings 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 43.8 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 82 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 fourth in made threes (202), eighth in steals (193) and 11th in blocked shots (63).
UIC ranks first in the Horizon League with a blocks per game average of 4.1 as junior Megan Wallace pilots the league as an individual with a 1.6 bpg clip. Senior Taylor Foulks isn’t far behind Wallace in third place with a per game average of 1.1. In league games only, Foulks sits atop the blocked shots leaderboard with nine total (1.9 bpg). Foulks also needs just one more blocked shot to crack UIC’s top-10 career leaderboard as she currently owns 63 swats.
Kobel From Downtown
Junior Emily Kobel has been a consistent threat for UIC from behind the arc all season. To date, Kobel is 35-of-98 from long range and is on pace to crack the single-season leaderboard for made threes, needing just 23 more. Kobel leads the team in made threes and ranks eighth in the Horizon League.
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-14th in the nation and stands as tied-for-the-top mark in the Horizon League this season.