Flames Begin Second Half of League Play Tuesday Against Oakland
Feb. 3, 2014
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Wright State 77, UIC 74 (Feb. 1)
A LOOK AT OAKLAND
UIC GAME NOTES
SECOND HALF OF LEAGUE PLAY BEGINS
The third-place UIC women's basketball team (16-5, 5-3 HL) begins the second half of Horizon League play Tuesday (Feb. 4) when the Flames play host to Oakland (8-12, 3-4 HL). Tip-off with the Golden Grizzlies is set for 7 p.m. CT inside the UIC Pavilion. UIC’s 16-5 overall record is the program’s best mark through 21 games in the Division I era (1980-present).
LAST TIME OUT
UIC dropped a thrilling Horizon League contest Saturday (Feb. 1) to Wright State (16-6, 5-2 HL) by a final score of 77-74. The game featured 11 lead changes and a last second three-point attempt by Terri Bender that fell just short.
Redshirt sophomore Ruvanna Campbell had 22 points and 15 rebounds for her 13th double-double of the season while senior Rachel Story poured in 18 points for the Flames. Wright State’s Kim Demmings, the Horizon League’s Preseason Player of the Year, played all 40 minutes and scored a game-high 28 points.
UIC shot 50 percent from the field, including 62 percent in the second half, but 47 percent from the free throw line (11-of-23) and 17 percent from three-point land (3-of-17). Meanwhile, Wright State hit seven three-pointers and made 18-of-24 shots from the foul line.
The Raiders turned 24 UIC turnovers into 34 points and scored 14 second-chance points. UIC won the rebounding battle (44-35) for the 18th time and scored 42 points in the paint.
Oakland is in its first season in the Horizon League after 14 years in The Summit League. The Golden Grizzlies were picked eighth in the preseason poll. Bethany Watterworth tops Oakland at 13.4 points per game and ranks second in the Horizon League with a 52.3 field-goal percentage. Elena Popkey (12.5 ppg) is fifth in the conference with 4.0 assists per contest and Olivia Nash (11.8 ppg) ranks seventh with 7.4 rebounds per game.
Kim Bee (9.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg) owns 37 blocks and tops the Horizon League with 2.1 blocks per game. As a team, Oakland leads the conference in blocked shots (3.8 bpg) and ranks second in steals (9.4 spg).
UIC picked up a 78-65 road win over Oakland Jan. 18 at the Athletics Center O’rena. Rachel Story scored a game-high 25 points to lead four Flames in double-figures. Ruvanna Campbell grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds to go along with 16 points. Katie Hannemann also picked up a double-double with 15 points and 14 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. 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 (20-3) is ranked No. 1 in the poll and No. 20 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. 120 in the rankings behind Wright State (90) and Green Bay (109) 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 (121).
UIC IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Per the Feb. 2 NCAA report, UIC ranks in the top 100 nationally in many statistical categories. The Flames are 23rd in rebounding margin (+8.3), 41st in win-lost percentage (.762), 69th in scoring offense (73.1 ppg), 77th in field-goal percentage (.424), 78th in steals per game (9.1 spg) and 87th in scoring margin (+6.9).
Individually, Ruvanna Campbell ranks 14th in double-doubles (13), 15th in rebounding (11.3 rpg) and 55th in field-goal percentage (.526). Terri Bender ranks 17th in steals (2.8 spg) and Rachel Story is 59th in scoring (18.8 ppg)
NEAR THE TOP OF THE LAND OF LINCOLN
At the halfway mark of conference play, UIC is second amongst all Division I Illinois programs with 16 victories. DePaul is first with 17 wins while Northwestern is third with 14 victories. Western Illinois picked up its 11th win last week.
The rest of the state programs include Illinois (9), Eastern Illinois (9), Loyola Chicago (9), Northern Illinois (8), SIUE (5), Bradley (5), Illinois State (5), Southern Illinois (4) and Chicago State (3).
FLAMES DOMINATING THE PAINT
The strong play of Ruvanna Campbell and Katie Hannemann has allowed UIC to dominate opponents inside the paint. UIC ranks first in the Horizon League in rebounding margin (+8.3) and offensive rebounds (16.6 per game). The Flames are 16-2 when out-rebounding their opponent.
The Flames also rank second in scoring defense (66.3 ppg) and third in blocked shots (3.0 bpg). UIC's strong inside play has helped the Flames score an average of 73.1 points per contest, good for third in the Horizon League. Last season, the Flames averaged 62.7 points through 21 games (7-14 record).
CHARITY STRIPE VISITS
One of UIC's biggest improvements since last season has been taking advantage of the free throw line. UIC leads the Horizon League by making an average of 17.6 free throws on 26.4 attempts per game. Through 21 games of the 2012-13 campaign, the Flames made an average of 11.1 free throws on 16.7 attempts per contest.
UIC has made 20-plus free throws seven times this season while the 2012-13 squad had two 20-plus efforts overall. UIC is 13-1 when attempting more free throws than its opponent.
WINNING THE TURNOVER BATTLE
Over the last seven games, UIC has won the turnover battle five times and posted a stellar +4.0 turnover margin. The Flames are forcing opponents to commit 18.0 turnovers over that span and are averaging a League-high 11.0 steals per game.
UIC is 10-2 when winning the turnover battle. The Flames rank third in the Horizon League in steals (9.1 spg) and are one of five conference programs with a positive turnover margin (+1.2).
CAMPBELL AMONGST THE NATION’S BEST
Redshirt sophomore Ruvanna Campbell is one of only seven players nationally averaging at least 16 points, 11 rebounds and shooting over 50 percent from the field. Add in at least one steal and one block per game and the group is narrowed down to four players. The players in that elite group are Campbell, Stanford’s consensus All-American Chiney Ogwumike, Robert Morris’ Artemis Spanou and Wake Forest’s Dearica Hamby.
CAMPBELL A DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE
Ruvanna Campbell had 22 points and 15 rebounds against Wright State for her League-high 13th double-double of the season. It was her third consecutive 20-point effort and third straight double-double. Over the last three contests, Campbell is averaging 23.0 points, 15.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and shooting 61.2 percent from the floor (30-of-49).
Campbell owns seven 20-point performances and five 15-plus rebound efforts. She has been in double-figures in all but one contest (8 points at Wisconsin). 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 (13), rebounds (11.3 rpg), field-goal percentage (.526) and offensive rebounds (4.5 per game). Campbell also ranks third in blocks (1.3 bpg), seventh in steals (1.9 spg) and eighth in scoring (16.0 ppg). She was named the Horizon League's "Player of the Week" on Jan. 6.
The last UIC player to average over 11 rebounds a contest was Tracy Manuel (11.3 rpg) in 1983-84. There have been six seasons in program history in which a player has averaged a double-double. The last UIC player to average a double-double was Dejeanette Flournoy in 2003-04 (11.8 ppg, 10.3 rpg).
STORY IN DOUBLE-FIGURES
Senior Rachel Story picked up her 18th double-figure performance of the season against Wright State with 18 points. She is averaging 24.6 points over the last three contests. Story’s career high of 34 points against Cleveland State (Jan. 25) is the fifth highest in program history and third highest in the Horizon League.
Story is averaging 18.8 points and shooting 36.7 percent from downtown (36-of-98). She ranks fourth in the Horizon League in scoring, third in minutes played (36.9 per game), eighth in free-throw percentage (.772) and tenth in three-pointers made (1.9 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 (825 career points) reached the 800-point milestone at Milwaukee (Jan. 29) and needs 22 more points 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 7.9 caroms per contest. Additionally, she ranks fourth in the conference in offensive rebounds (3.2 per game).
Hannemann was 5-of-6 from the floor against Wright State and scored 10 points for her 16th double-digit effort. She has posted five double-doubles, including 15 points and 14 rebounds at Oakland (Jan. 18).
Hannemann scores 12.7 points per contest and ranks fifth in the Horizon League in field-goal percentage (.492). Over the last four games, Hannemann has converted 64.5 percent of her field-goal attempts (20-of-31).
Hannemann entered the program's top 20 scorers against Wright State. She is now tied with Jo Ellen Swanson (1982-87) for 19th place with 854 career points. Hannemann (511 career rebounds) is also on pace to enter the program's top 10 rebounders.
BENDER’S STRONG SEVEN-GAME STRETCH
Sophomore Terri Bender has put together a strong seven-game stretch that has included six double-figure performances. Since the Youngstown State contest (Jan. 11), Bender has averaged 13.6 points, 5.1 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 steals. She picked up her first career double-double (20 points, 11 assists) at Detroit (Jan. 16) and tied her career-high with 22 points at Milwaukee (Jan. 29).
Bender leads the Horizon League in steals (2.8 spg) and is scoring 9.8 points per contest after 6.3 per game last season. Her 3.9 assists per game rank sixth in the Horizon League. Bender is also pulling down 4.5 rebounds per game after averaging 2.5 caroms during her freshman season.
KOBEL MOVES UP THE RECORD BOOK
Senior Emily Kobel drained her 124th career three-pointer against Wright State, which ranks seventh all-time in program history. She needs five 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 135 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 31.5 percent of her three-point attempts (35-of-111) and 79.2 percent of her free throws (19-of-24). She ranks 12th in the conference in made three-pointers (1.7 per contest) and is third on the squad in minutes per game (32.8).
Kobel has also pulled down a career-high 4.9 rebounds per game. Kobel had averaged 2.1 rebounds per contest in her career entering this season.
11-GAME 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.