Flames Set for Semifinal Showdown with No. 1 Seed Green Bay
March 13, 2014
A LOOK AT GREEN BAY
UIC GAME NOTES
SHOWDOWN WITH NO. 1
The fourth-seeded UIC women’s basketball team (22-8) notched its second Horizon League Tournament win under third-year head coach Regina Miller Wednesday in a 77-72 victory over No. 5 seed Cleveland State. The Flames advance to the Semifinals where they will meet No. 1 seed Green Bay (21-8) Friday (March 14) for rights to the conference Championship game.
The last time these two squads met in the postseason, the Phoenix defeated the Flames by a final of 73-53 in the Semifinals of the 2011-12 season. With a win, UIC will advance to its first Horizon League Championship game since the 2005-06 campaign. The contest will be the second semifinal of the night, as No. 2 Wright State and No. 3 Youngstown State play in the first semifinal at 5 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT
UIC never trailed Wednesday night (March 12) and the fourth-seeded Flames defeated No. 5 seed Cleveland State (14-16) in the Quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament by a final score of 77-72.
UIC out-rebounded CSU 40-28 and is 22-3 when winning the battle on the boards. The Flames had 44 points in the paint, grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and scored 14 second-chance points.
SCOUTING GREEN BAY
Green Bay has won or shared the Horizon League regular season title for 16 consecutive seasons. Green Bay started 1-2 in conference play before winning 12 out of their final 13 League games.
The Phoenix lead the Horizon League in scoring defense (58.6 ppg), scoring margin (+10.1), field-goal percentage defense (.378) and assists (16.4 apg). Green Bay ranks 27th in the nation in scoring defense.
Tesha Buck (9.9 ppg, 1.8 spg) was named Horizon League Freshman of the Year and sophomore Kaili Lukan (11.3 ppg) earned All-League Second Team honors. Additionally, Mehryn Kraker (9.5 ppg) was named to the All-Freshman Team while junior Megan Lukan (9.2 ppg, 4.1 apg) garnered All-Defensive Team accolades. Green Bay’s inside presence is senior Breannah Ranger, who averages 10.9 points and 6.5 rebounds.
The Phoenix has won ten straight meetings between the two schools. Green Bay is unbeaten at home (32-0) in the series. The Phoenix won, 66-50, in the last meeting inside the Kress Center (1/8/14).
Three Flames have been awarded for their stellar seasons. The Horizon League announced its All-League awards Monday (March 10) and Ruvanna Campbell, Rachel Story and Terri Bender earned recognition. The awards were voted on by the League’s head coaches, sports information directors and media.
Campbell took home the first Defensive Player of the Year award in program history. Additionally, Campbell was named to the All-League First Team and the All-Defensive Team. Story earned All-League Second Team honors while Bender was voted to the All-Defensive Team.
The last UIC player to be selected to the All-League First Team and All-Defensive Team in the same year was Jasmine Bailey in 2011-12. The Flames have two players on the All-Defensive Team for the first time since 2002-03 when Jaysie Chambers and LeKesa Williams were honored.
PROGRAM RECORD FOR WINS
UIC broke the program record for single-season wins on Feb. 27 with a 73-65 road victory over Youngstown State. UIC’s 22 wins eclipse the 2006-07 squad, who went 19-13 and made the program’s lone trip to the postseason (WNIT).
NATION’S SECOND LARGEST TURNAROUND
UIC has collected 13 more wins (22-8) than the entire 2012-13 campaign (9-21). Based on overall wins, UIC ranks second for the largest turnaround in the nation. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (18-12) leads the nation with a +14 win differential.
UIC IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Per the March 9 NCAA report, UIC ranks in the top 100 nationally in many statistical categories. The Flames are 25th in rebounding margin (+7.6), 54th in steals per game (9.3 spg), 56th in scoring offense (73.8 ppg), 57th in win-lost percentage (.733), 81st in field-goal percentage (.425) and 92nd in scoring margin (+5.6).
Individually, Ruvanna Campbell ranks ninth in rebounding (12.2 rpg), 12th in double-doubles (22) and 58th in field-goal percentage (.515). Terri Bender ranks 11th in steals (2.9 spg), Katie Hannemann is 53rd in field-goal percentage (.521) and Rachel Story is 98th in scoring (18.0 ppg).
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. 125 in the rankings behind Wright State (101) and Green Bay (108) amongst Horizon League programs. The Flames own two victories over top 150 programs in Butler (107) and Wisconsin (140).
SECOND IN THE LAND OF LINCOLN
UIC is second amongst all Division I Illinois programs with 22 victories. DePaul is first with 27 wins while Northwestern (15), Western Illinois (14), Eastern Illinois (12), SIUE (11), Loyola Chicago (11) and Northern Illinois (11) are also in double-digits. The rest of the state programs include Illinois (9), Illinois State (9), Bradley (8), Southern Illinois (5) 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 (+7.6) and offensive rebounds (17.1 per game). The Flames are 22-3 when out-rebounding their opponent. The Flames also rank second in blocked shots (3.1 bpg).
POINTS PER GAME RECORD
UIC's strong inside play has helped the Flames score an average of 73.8 points per contest, good for third in the Horizon League. UIC’s 73.8 points per game is a program record by over three points as the 1977-78 squad averaged 70.3 points. The Flames are scoring 10.7 more points per game than the 2012-13 campaign (63.1 ppg).
FREE THROW RECORDS
UIC is first in the Horizon League in free throw attempts (25.1 per game) and second in made free throws (16.6 per game). The Flames’ 497 made three throws and 754 attempts shatter the program records set by the 1995-96 squad (424-of-625).
UIC also set the single-game free throw program record by going 31-of-49 against Idaho State (Nov. 15). UIC is 18-2 this season when attempting more free throws than its opponent.
LEADING THE HORIZON LEAGUE IN STEALS
During conference play, UIC led the Horizon League with 10.4 steals per contest. The Flames averaged 8.2 steals per game during non-League play. UIC collected double-digit steals in 11 of 16 League contests.
UIC forced 17.4 turnovers during League play and ranked second in the conference with a +2.3 turnover margin. Overall, the Flames are second in the Horizon League by allowing 68.2 points per game.
CAMPBELL AMONGST THE NATION’S BEST
Sophomore Ruvanna Campbell is one of only four players nationally averaging at least 16 points, 12 rebounds and shooting over 50 percent from the field. The players in that elite group are Campbell, Stanford’s consensus All-American Chiney Ogwumike, Oregon's Jillian Alleyne and Robert Morris’ Artemis Spanou.
CAMPBELL A DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE
Ruvanna Campbell picked up her 12th straight double-double in the Quarterfinal game with 15 points and 16 rebounds. Over the last three contests, Campbell is averaging 15.0 points, 16.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists.
Campbell leads the Horizon League in double-doubles (22), rebounds (12.2 rpg) and offensive rebounds (4.9 per game). Campbell also ranks second in blocks (1.4 bpg), fifth in field-goal percentage (.515), eighth in scoring (16.6 ppg) and ninth in steals (1.7 spg). She was named the Horizon League's "Player of the Week" on Jan. 6.
The last UIC player to average over 12 rebounds a contest was Sharon Carroll (14.7 rpg) in 1979-80. Campbell’s 367 rebounds are the second most in a single season in program history. Campbell's 13.1 rebounds per game in conference play are the highest in the history of the Horizon League.
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 NEARS 1,000 POINTS
Senior Rachel Story scored a game-high 24 points on 10-of-20 shooting in the Quarterfinal game. She owns 971 career points and needs 29 more points to become the 20th member of the 1,000-Point Club.
It was Story’s third straight 20-point game, her 13th of the season and the 24th of her two-year UIC career. She hit 3-of-8 three-point attempts, including a three-quarters court bank shot at the halftime buzzer. Story is 10-of-26 (.385) from beyond the arc over the last three contests.
Story is averaging 18.0 points and shooting 34.4 percent from downtown. She ranks fourth in the Horizon League in scoring, second in minutes played (36.5 per game) and tenth in free-throw percentage (.744). Story also contributes 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals per contest.
Story was named the Horizon League's "Player of the Week" twice this season (Nov. 25 and Dec. 23). Her career high of 34 points against Cleveland State (Jan. 25) is the fifth highest in program history and the fifth highest in the Horizon League this season.
HANNEMANN MOVES INTO 16TH PLACE
Senior Katie Hannemann scored 14 points in the Quarterfinal game on 6-of-11 shooting. She passed Taylor Foulks (2009-13) into 16th place in program history with 1,029 career points. She also sank two attempts from the charity stripe and ranks ninth in program history with 253 career made free throws.
Hannemann grabbed five rebounds and needs five more rebounds to enter the program’s top 10. She owns seven double-doubles this season and 12 in her career.
Hannemann has been in double-digits for seven consecutive games and four of those performances have been over 20 points. Over the last seven contests, Hannemann is averaging 21.4 points and shooting 61.4 percent from the field. She has raised her scoring average 1.4 points in that span.
Hannemann ranks tenth in the Horizon League with 14.7 points per contest and fourth in field-goal percentage (.521). She also ranks seventh in the conference with 7.7 rebounds per game and third in offensive rebounds (3.5 per game).
BENDER'S STRONG FIVE-GAME STRETCH
Sophomore Terri Bender scored 11 points in the Quarterfinal game for her fourth double-digit effort in five games. Over the last five games, Bender is averaging 11.4 points, 5.6 assists and 3.0 steals. She owns 15 double-digit efforts this season and 21 in her career.
Bender picked up one steal against Cleveland State and her 86 steals are third most in a single-season at UIC. Her career high of seven steals at Youngstown State (Feb. 27) is tied for the best steals effort in the Horizon League and the fourth highest performance nationally.
Bender leads the Horizon League with 2.9 steals per game. Additionally, Bender’s 4.1 assists per game rank fourth in the conference.
KOBEL MOVES UP THE RECORD BOOK
Senior Emily Kobel drained the 140th three-pointer of her career in the Quarterfinal game. She has passed five players in the UIC record book this season and currently ranks sixth in program history.
Kobel is knocking down 32 percent of her three-point attempts (51-of-160) and 77 percent of her free throws (23-of-30). She ranks 13th in the Horizon League in made three-pointers (1.7 per contest).
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.
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.
COLLEGEINSIDER.COM MID-MAJOR TOP 25 POLL
UIC spent four weeks in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll from Jan. 7 – Feb. 4. The Flames reached a high ranking of No. 22 on Jan. 7 after receiving 119 points in the ninth edition of this season's poll. UIC is currently in the “Others Receiving Votes” section with 19 total points.
Wright State (No. 20) and Green Bay (No. 23) currently 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 (29-4) is ranked No. 1 in the poll and No. 18 in the AP Top 25.
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.
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.