Feb. 27, 2013
Setting the Stage
Thursday's game will be the 28th all-time meeting between UIC and Youngstown State as the Flames hold the series record advantage of 17-10. YSU defeated UIC earlier this season on Jan. 31 in Chicago by a final score of 67-54. Over the past five seasons, the Flames have controlled the series against the Penguins by winning seven of the last nine gatherings. UIC also owns an 8-5 record in games played at the Beeghly Center.
Scouting the PENGUINS
Youngstown State enters Thursday's contest with an 18-7 overall record and an 8-4 mark in the Horizon League. The second-place Penguins are eyeing the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament as they sit one-half game ahead of Loyola at 8-5 in the league standings. YSU is having its best season in more than a decade as they are led by Horizon League Player of the Year candidate Brandi Brown. Brown is averaging 19.7 points and 11.4 rebounds per game, one of just two HL players to average a double-double.
HL Player of the Week
Redshirt junior Katie Hannemann was named the Horizon League Co-Player of the Week, along with Green Bay's Megan Lukan, for the period of Feb. 18-24 this past Monday. Hannemann becomes just the second player in the conference this season to earn the award two or more times. The six-foot one-inch center guided the Flames to two home wins last week, while averaging 25.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. Her 35-point effort against Wright State is tied for the second-highest total in the HL this year and is the highest scoring output for UIC since Jan. 19, 2002.
A Week to Remember
UIC had one of its best weeks of the season last week with two home wins over Wright State and Detroit. The Flames sat eighth in the Horizon League standings before the pair of games and jumped to fifth afterward. The victories did not come easy as UIC had to overcome double-digit deficits during the second in both contests.
A Scoring Story
Junior newcomer Rachel Story has positioned herself as one of the premier scorers in the Horizon League this season. Currently, Story owns 20 double-digit scoring performances and is one of just six league players to record eight or more 20-point efforts. Three of those 20-point performances occurred in the past five games as she is averaging 17.4 points per game during that stretch. She has also paced UIC in scoring in 14 games this year.
12 More To Go
Senior Taylor Foulks needs just 12 more points to reach 1,000 for her career. Currently with 988 career points, if Foulks does eclipse the four-digit milestone then she will become just the 18th player in program history to do so. Last season, two Flames' players surpassed 1,000 career points in Jasmine Bailey (1,535) and Shamiea Green (1,334).
UIC's overtime win against Wright State on Thursday night will forever be known as "The Comeback". The Flames trailed the Raiders by 17 points (66-49) with 5:29 left to play, but then executed a 17-0 run over the next three minutes to eventually force overtime and secure the win. During that three-minute stretch, UIC shot 6-of-6 from the field, 4-of-4 from the foul line and forced Wright State into seven empty offensive possessions.
Elite Company For Hannemann
Katie Hannemann is one of just five Horizon League players to rank in the top eight for scoring and rebounding. That list includes CSU's Shalonda Winton, UDM's Shareta Brown, YSU's Brandi Brown and Valpo's Tabitha Gerardot. Hannemann's averages of 14.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game easily make her one of the most improved players in the league this season after averaging 3.9 points and 3.2 boards last year.
Big Night for Kobel
Junior Emily Kobel tied a career-high with 17 points in last Saturday's 76-74 win over Detroit. The 6-foot sharpshooter drilled three of her four treys in the second half en route to 12 points in the final period. Kobel paces the team in made threes this season with 46 and needs just 11 more to crack UIC's single season top 10 leaderboard.
Freshman Terri Bender is having an outstanding rookie season as she has started 18 games at point guard for UIC this year. Bender is one of just two Horizon League freshmen to average more than 6.0 points, 1.5 steals and 3.5 assists per game. She also ranks top four in all three categories among HL rookies and ranks 10th and 11th in steals and assists, respectively among all conference players.
Senior Taylor Foulks is one of just two UIC players in program history to record more than 200 steals and 200 made threes. Currently, Foulks has 217 career treys and 211 steals. Joining Foulks on the 200-200 list is Hall-of-Famer Joanne McCarthy who also has her number 21 jersey retired.
Block Party For Wallace
Junior Megan Wallace has 35 total blocked shots so far this season and ranks first in the Horizon League with an average of 1.4 swats per game. CSU's Shalonda Winton is second on that list with 34 blocks despite averaging 19.3 minutes per game more than Wallace (38.8-19.5). Wallace is also nearing UIC' single season top-10 leaderboard, needing just four more rejections to crack the list at 39.
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 44.0 percent of the team's minutes played so far this season, tops among all Horizon League programs.