March 10, 2013
Setting the Stage
Monday night’s first-round contest between No. 8 seed Valparaiso and No. 9 seed UIC will kick off the 2013 Horizon League Women’s Basketball Tournament. The winner of will advance to the quarterfinals against top-seeded Green Bay on Wednesday night. The Flames and Crusaders split their season series with each team picking up home wins. Valpo owns a 21-18 all-time series advantage, but UIC has dominated the series as of late by winning five of the last six gatherings.
Scouting the CRUSADERS
Valparaiso enters Monday’s game with an overall record of 10-19 and a Horizon League mark of 5-11. After losing five straight games, the Crusaders capped off the regular season with a convincing 20-point victory over fourth-place Detroit at home on senior day. Valpo is paced by forward Tabitha Gerardot who averages 15 points and nine rebounds per outing.
HL Tourney Talk
The Flames hold an all-time HL tourney record of 9-17 and Monday’s game will be the first meeting between UIC and Valpo in postseason play. The ninth-slot is the lowest ever seed for the Flames in the conference tournament. Last season UIC won its quarterfinal contest at home against Butler before being eliminated by No. 1 Green Bay in the semifinals. The Flames own a 3-15 record when playing away or at neutral sites during the HL Tourney.
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 23 double-digit scoring performances and is one of just five league players to record 11 or more 20-point efforts. Six of those 20-point performances have occurred in the past nine games. She also needs just one more point to crack UIC’s single season scoring top 10 leaderboard.
Elite Company For Hannemann
Katie Hannemann is one of just six Horizon League players to rank in the top 10 for scoring and rebounding. That list includes CSU’s Shalonda Winton, UDM’s Shareta Brown, YSU’s Brandi Brown, Valpo’s Tabitha Gerardot and LUC’s Simone Law. Hannemann’s averages of 14.0 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.
Freshman Terri Bender is having an outstanding rookie season as she has started 22 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 11th in steals and assists, respectively among all conference players.
Top 10 Duo
Rachel Story and Katie Hannemann are one of just two pairs of teammates to rank in the top 10 in Horizon League scoring. Story sits sixth on that list with an average of 15.6 points per game, while Hannemann is slotted ninth at 14.0. The other tandem is LUC’s Simone Law and Taylor Johnson.
Foulks Hits 1,000 on the Head
Taylor Foulks needed exactly 12 points to reach 1,000 for her career at Youngstown State on Feb. 28 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 currently has 1,016 career points which ranks 16th in UIC annals.
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 (221), seventh in steals (212) and 10th in blocks (68). She is also the program’s all-time leader in three-point attempts with 693, 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 50.3% 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 11th on UIC’s single season performance list.
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.