March 6, 2013
Setting the Stage
Thursday's game will be the 46th all-time meeting between UIC and Milwaukee as the Panthers hold the series record advantage of 27-18. The Flames have had recent success against UWM, winning the past four gatherings, including this year's 84-67 victory in Chicago on Feb. 7. Both squads are still fighting for position in the Horizon League standings as UIC sits fifth and Milwaukee eighth with two games left for each team.
Scouting the Panthers
Milwaukee enters Thursday's game with an overall record of 8-18 and a Horizon League mark of 4-10. After their first three-game winning streak of the season in the third week of February, the Panthers have dropped their last two contests on the road against Loyola (92-76) and Detroit (66-40). UWM is paced in scoring and assists by senior guard Angela Rodriguez with averages of 14.0 and 4.1, respectively. Sami Tucker pilots the Panthers on the glass pulling down 7.5 boards per game, good for seventh in the Horizon League.
Foulks Hits 1,000 on the Head
Taylor Foulks needed exactly 12 points to reach 1,000 for her career last Thursday night at Youngstown State and the senior did just that. Foulks sank a pair of free throws with 29 seconds remaining in the game to become the 18th player in program history to achieve the four-digit milestone. Foulks needs just two more points to move into 17th place on UIC's scoring leaderboard and five points to take over the No. 16 spot. The senior did not play last Saturday at home versus Green Bay.
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 21 double-digit scoring performances and is one of just six league players to record nine or more 20-point efforts. Four of those 20-point performances have occurred in the past seven games. She also needs just 41 more points to crack UIC's single season scoring top 10 leaderboard.
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 7.0 rebounds per game easily makes her one of the most improved players in the league this season after averaging 3.9 points and 3.2 boards last year.
The UIC women's basketball team was slated to finish sixth in the 2012-13 Horizon League preseason poll. If the Flames can hold on to their fifth-place spot in the standings then they will have surpassed preseason expectations for the second year in a row. Last season UIC was picked to finish fifth in the early-season poll and the Flames placed fourth.
Freshman Terri Bender is having an outstanding rookie season as she has started 20 games at point guard for UIC this year. Bender is the only Horizon League freshmen to average more than 6.0 points, 3.4 assists, 1.5 steals and per game. She also ranks top four in all three categories among HL rookies and ranks eighth and 12th in steals and assists, respectively among all conference players.
Top 10 Duo
Rachel Story and Katie Hannemann are the only pair of teammates to rank in the top 10 in Horizon League scoring. Story sits fifth on that list with an average of 15.2 points per game, while Hannemann is slotted eighth at 14.1.
Senior Taylor Foulks has proven herself as one of the most versatile players in the annals of UIC women's basketball. She is the only player in program history to record more than 200 steals 200 made threes and 60 blocked shots. Currently Foulks ranks second in career threes (218), seventh in steals (212) and 10th in blocks (67). She is also the program's all-time leader in three-point attempts with 687, which also ranks 21st among all active NCAA D-I players.
Katie Hannemann has been a reliable force on the offensive end for UIC this season, averaging 51.5% from the floor to rank fifth in the Horizon league and 34th in the nation. If the season ended today, Hannemann's field goal percentage would place ninth on UIC's single season performance list.
Block Party For Wallace
Junior Megan Wallace has 36 total blocked shots so far this season and ranks first in the Horizon League with an average of 1.3 swats per game. CSU's Shalonda Winton owns 37 blocks despite averaging 19.6 minutes per game more than Wallace (38.8-19.2). Wallace is also nearing UIC' single season top-10 leaderboard, needing just three 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.