Flames Play in WBI Quarterfinals at No. 1 Eastern Michigan

Ruvanna Campbell has 13 double-doubles over the last 14 games
Ruvanna Campbell has 13 double-doubles over the last 14 games

March 20, 2014


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No. 4 UIC (23-9) at No. 1 Eastern Michigan (18-13)
 Date Monday, March 24
 Time 6 p.m. CT
 Location Ypsilanti, Mich. | EMU Convocation Center
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 Game Notes UIC Flames | Eastern Michigan Eagles
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 2013-14 Season Stats UIC Flames | Eastern Michigan Eagles

Nickname: Eagles
Conference: Mid-American
Head Coach: Tory Verdi (2nd season)
2013-14 Conference Finish: 5th in the MAC West, 7-11 record
Series History: EMU leads 8-2
Last Meeting: EMU won 74-54 (12/23/10 @ EMU)
Series Streak: EMU has won four straight
2013-14 Leader in:
Points - Cha Sweeney (17.2 ppg)
Rebounds - Olivia Fouty (8.2 rpg)
Assists - Desyree Thomas (4.4 apg)
Steals - Desyree Thomas (2.7 spg)
Blocks - Olivia Fouty (0.5 bpg)



The UIC women’s basketball team (23-9) will travel to Ypsilanti, Mich. Monday (March 24) for the quarterfinals of the 2014 Women’s Basketball Invitational to play Eastern Michigan (18-13). UIC is the fourth seed in the East Region while the Eagles are the top seed. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT inside the EMU Convocation Center.

UIC and Eastern Michigan last played on Dec. 23, 2010 when the Eagles picked up a 74-54 home win. If the Flames defeat EMU, they will play the winner of the (6) Fairfield/(7) Maine contest in the semifinals either on Wednesday or Thursday.


UIC collected the first postseason victory in program history Wednesday (March 19) with an 84-71 win over No. 5 IPFW in first round action of the 2014 Women’s Basketball Invitational. Down 41-33 in the first half following an 11-0 IPFW run, UIC responded with a 19-2 run to take control of the contest. The Flames outscored the Mastodons 49-30 in the second half and limited IPFW to 24.3 percent shooting after halftime.

The Flames held the advantage in rebounds (49-37) and moved to 23-4 this season when winning the battle on the boards. UIC dominated inside with 44 points in the paint and 16 offensive rebounds. UIC was 23-of-32 from the line and made over 20 free throws for the first time since Jan. 18 at Oakland. The Flames shot 50 percent from beyond the arc (5-of-10) and 46.7 percent overall (28-of-60).


Eastern Michigan started 11-1 before finishing the season with a 6-11 record. EMU fell 81-76 to Northern Illinois in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The Eagles rank fifth in the nation in turnover margin (+7.5) and seventh in steals (11.3 per game).

Cha Sweeney leads the squad in scoring (17.2 ppg) and was named the MAC Freshman of the Year. Sweeney was also selected to the All-MAC second team. Janay Morton also earned a spot on the All-Freshman squad after scoring 12.6 points per game.

The squads have seven common opponents on this year's schedule in Butler, Cleveland State, Detroit, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Ohio and Miami. UIC went 9-1 against these opponents with the lone loss coming at Cleveland State (March 1). EMU went 6-4 with two losses to NIU, one to Miami and one at WMU.

UIC and Eastern Michigan have met ten times and EMU owns an 8-2 series advantage. The Eagles have won four straight in the series and most recently defeated the Flames 74-54 on Dec. 23, 2010 in Ypsilanti.


Run by Sport Tours International, the Women's Basketball Invitational is in its fifth season. The tournament provides a choice for postseason worthy Division I teams who wish to continue their season, but who do not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The 16-team event will take place over two weeks with all games being played on campus sites.

Past winners have been Appalachian State in 2010, UAB in 2011, Minnesota in 2012 and Detroit in 2013. This is the fourth year that a Horizon League team will play in the WBI following Wright State (2011, 2012), Cleveland State (2011) and Detroit (2013).


Three Flames were awarded for their stellar seasons. The Horizon League announced its All-League awards on March 10 and Ruvanna Campbell, Rachel Story and Terri Bender earned recognition.

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.


UIC broke the program record for single-season wins on Feb. 27 with a 73-65 road victory over Youngstown State. UIC’s 23 wins eclipse the 2006-07 squad, who went 19-13 and made the program’s first trip to the postseason (WNIT).


UIC has collected 14 more wins (23-9) than the entire 2012-13 campaign (9-21). Based on overall wins, UIC is tied for the nation’s largest turnaround. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (18-12), Wright State (26-8) and Colorado State (25-7) also own a +14 win differential.


Per the March 19 NCAA report, UIC ranks in the top 100 nationally in many statistical categories. The Flames are 22nd in rebounding margin (+7.7), 52nd in win-lost percentage (.719), 56th in scoring offense (73.7 ppg), 66th in steals per game (9.1 spg), 78th in field-goal percentage (.425) and 91st in scoring margin (+5.4).

Individually, Ruvanna Campbell ranks seventh in rebounding (12.4 rpg), ninth in double-doubles (23) and 56th in field-goal percentage (.517). Terri Bender ranks 13th in steals (2.8 spg), Katie Hannemann is 57th in field-goal percentage (.517) and Rachel Story is 86th in scoring (18.1 ppg).


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 (+7.7) and offensive rebounds (16.9 per game). The Flames are 23-4 when out-rebounding their opponent. The Flames also rank second in blocked shots (3.0 bpg).


The most successful season in program history has also seen many statistical records broken. The Flames have broken records for points scored (2,358), scoring average (73.7 ppg), field goals made (841), rebounds (1,372), free throws made (531) and free throws attempted (803).


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.


Ruvanna Campbell picked up her 23rd double-double against IPFW with 23 points and 16 rebounds. Her 16 rebounds are one shy of the WBI record of 17 set last year by Detroit’s Yar Shayok against Penn.

It was Campbell’s 13th double-double over the last 14 games and the 11th time she has scored over 20 points this season. Over the last five games, Campbell is averaging 15.8 rebounds per contest.

Campbell’s 397 rebounds are the most in a single season in program history. Campbell's 13.1 rebounds per game in conference play were the highest in the history of the Horizon League.

Campbell leads the Horizon League in double-doubles (23), rebounds (12.4 rpg) and offensive rebounds (4.8 per game). Campbell also ranks second in blocks (1.4 bpg), fourth in field-goal percentage (.517), eighth in scoring (16.5 ppg) and ninth in steals (1.7 spg). She was named the Horizon League's "Player of the Week" on Jan. 6.

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).


Senior Rachel Story scored 19 points against IPFW and became the 20th player in program history to pass 1,000 career points (1,010 career points). She is the only player in the 1,000-Point Club to accomplish the feat in two seasons. It was her 27th double-digit performance of the season and the 51st of her UIC career.

Story ranks fourth in the Horizon League at 18.1 points per game. Elsewhere, she ranks eighth in made three-pointers (1.9 per game) and ninth in free-throw percentage (.750). Story also contributes 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals over a team-high 36.5 minutes per game.

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.


Senior Katie Hannemann scored 17 points against IPFW to increase her career point total to 1,054. She is 17 points away from Toni Stachon (1975-78) and Jacquese Gilbert (1988-91) for 15th place on UIC's all-time list.

Hannemann missed her eighth double-double of the season by one rebound as she grabbed nine caroms against IPFW. Her 588 career rebounds enter the program's top 10 and she now ranks ninth all-time. She also sank five attempts from the charity stripe and sits ninth in program history with 260 made free throws.

Hannemann is scoring a career-high 14.6 points per contest and ranks fifth in the Horizon League in field-goal percentage (.517). She also ranks seventh in the conference with 7.6 rebounds per game and third in offensive rebounds (3.5 per game).


Sophomore Terri Bender scored 14 points against IPFW for her sixth double-digit effort in seven contests. Over the last seven games, Bender is averaging 11.6 points, 5.1 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 2.7 steals and shooting 47.6 percent from three-point land (10-of-21). She has made four of her last five attempts from beyond the arc.   

Bender also picked up three steals against IPFW and her 90 steals are second most in a single season at UIC. She needs four more steals to break Ava Walker’s record of 93 set in 1980-81.

Bender leads the Horizon League with 2.8 steals per game. Additionally, Bender’s 4.1 assists per game rank fifth in the conference.


Senior Emily Kobel sank 2-of-3 three-point attempts against IPFW and finished the game with eight points. She has drained 57 triples this season and ranks sixth in program history with 146 three-pointers. Kobel has passed five players in the record book during the 2013-14 campaign.

Kobel has made 6-of-12 attempts from beyond the arc over the last two contests. Since the Wright State contest on Feb. 15, Kobel has converted 40.9 percent of her three-point attempts (18-of-44).

Kobel is knocking down 33 percent of her three-point attempts and a team-high 78 percent of her free throws. She ranks 11th in the Horizon League with 1.8 made three-pointers 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.


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.


UIC spent four weeks in the 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 5 total points.

Wright State (No. 15) and Green Bay (No. 22) 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 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).


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.


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.