Flames Play Host to No. 6 Fairfield in WBI Semifinals

Over the last six games, Ruvanna Campbell is averaging 17.3 points and 17.0 rebounds per contest
Over the last six games, Ruvanna Campbell is averaging 17.3 points and 17.0 rebounds per contest

March 25, 2014


2014 WBI Bracket
2014 WBI Website
WBI Records

No. 6 Fairfield (22-10) at No. 4 UIC (24-9)
 Date Thursday, March 27
 Time 5:30 p.m. CT
 Location Chicago, Ill. | UIC Pavilion
 Live Stats
Horizon League Network
 Game Notes UIC Flames | Fairfield Stags
 Social Media


 2013-14 Season Stats UIC Flames | Fairfield Stags
 Flames YouTube UICFlames YouTube Channel

Nickname: Stags
Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic (MAAC)
Head Coach: Joe Frager (7th season)
2013-14 Conference Finish: Third, 15-5 record
Series History: First Meeting
2013-14 Leader in:
Points - Katie Cizynski (17.0 ppg)
Rebounds - Katie Cizynski (8.6 rpg)
Assists - Felicia DaCruz (5.5 apg)
Steals - Brittany Obi-Tabot (0.8 spg)
Blocks - Brittany Obi-Tabot (0.9 bpg)



The UIC women's basketball team (24-9) seeks its first trip to a postseason championship game Thursday (March 27) when the Flames play host to Fairfield (22-10) in the semifinals of the 2014 Women's Basketball Invitational. UIC is the fourth seed in the East Region while the Stags are the sixth seed. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. CT inside the UIC Pavilion.

UIC and Fairfield will meet for the first time with a trip to the WBI Championship on the line. If the Flames defeat Fairfield, they will play the winner of the (4) Stephen F. Austin/(2) College of Charleston contest in the finals either on Saturday or Sunday.


UIC picked up the first road postseason victory in program history Monday (March 24) with a 93-91 win over No. 1 Eastern Michigan (18-14) in quarterfinal action of the 2014 Women’s Basketball Invitational. Down 91-90 with 37 seconds remaining, Ruvanna Campbell converted a three-point play with eight seconds on the clock to put the Flames ahead. EMU’s Shannise Heady missed two straight jumpers as time expired and UIC escaped with a two-point victory.

UIC shot 55 percent from the floor and tied the program record with 41 made field goals. The Flames scored over 90 points for the third time of the 2013-14 campaign and the 55 percent shooting is the second highest of the season (.591 vs. Roosevelt).

The Flames scored 58 points in the paint and 22 fast break points. UIC out-rebounded the Eagles 48-36 and improved to 24-4 when winning the battle on the boards. The Flames dished out 25 assists, which is one short of the WBI record of 26 set by Manhattan in 2012.


Fairfield won eight of their final nine games to finish third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) with a 15-5 conference record. The Stags were upset by sixth-seeded Rider, 63-56, in the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament.

Fairfield ranks 17th in the nation in three-point field-goal percentage (.368) and 44th in scoring defense (60.2 ppg). The Stags take care of the ball and stay out of foul trouble with only 12.5 turnovers and 14.6 fouls per contest. Fairfield ranks in the top 20 nationally in both categories.

Senior forward Katie Cizynski leads the squad with 17.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Junior guard Felicia DaCruz leads the team with 5.5 assists per game and ranks fourth in the nation with a 3.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. Senior guard Alexys Vazquez scores 10.6 points per game and is shooting 41 percent from three-point range.


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 24 wins eclipse the 2006-07 squad, who went 19-13 and made the program's first trip to the postseason (WNIT).


UIC has collected 15 more wins (24-9) than the entire 2012-13 campaign (9-21). Based on overall wins, UIC owns the nation's largest turnaround. Wright State (26-9), Colorado State (25-8), St. Bonaventure (24-11) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (18-12) are second with a +14 win differential.


Per the March 24 NCAA report, UIC ranks in the top 100 nationally in many statistical categories. The Flames are 19th in rebounding margin (+7.8), 47th in win-lost percentage (.727), 52nd in scoring offense (74.3 ppg), 60th in steals per game (9.2 spg), 64th in field-goal percentage (.429), 85th in assists (14.7 apg) and 88th in scoring margin (+5.3).

Individually, Ruvanna Campbell ranks seventh in rebounding (12.7 rpg), seventh in double-doubles (24) and 44th in field-goal percentage (.527). Terri Bender ranks 14th in steals (2.8 spg), Katie Hannemann is 57th in field-goal percentage (.516) and Rachel Story is 78th in scoring (18.4 ppg).


During WBI play, UIC has scored 88.5 points per game and converted 51.5 percent of its field goal attempts. The Flames have also hit 40 percent of their three-point attempts (12-of-30) and dished out 23.0 assists per game in the tournament.

The Flames recorded 25 assists at Eastern Michigan, which is one short of the WBI record of 26 set by Manhattan in 2012. During the regular season, UIC averaged 73.4 points, shot 42.3 percent from the field, 30.1 percent from beyond the arc and dished out 14.2 assists per contest.


The most successful season in program history has also seen many statistical records broken. The Flames have broken records for points scored (2,451), scoring average (74.3 ppg), field goals made (882), rebounds (1,420), free throws made (535) and free throws attempted (813).

UIC also set the single-game free throw program record by going 31-of-49 against Idaho State (Nov. 15). The Flames have tied two single-game records in made field goals (41 at Eastern Michigan) and assists (30 vs. Detroit).


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 (+7.8) and offensive rebounds (16.8 per game). The Flames are 24-4 when out-rebounding their opponent.

UIC has converted 51.5 percent of its field goals over the last two games and ranks second in the conference in field-goal percentage (.429). The Flames also rank second in blocked shots (3.0 bpg).


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 collected her 24th double-double at Eastern Michigan with 27 points and a career-high 23 rebounds. Campbell’s 23 rebounds are a WBI record and the second highest in program history. Tracy Manuel grabbed 24 rebounds vs. Northern Iowa on Dec. 20, 1983.

It was Campbell’s first career 20-point-20-rebound performance and second 20-rebound effort this season. She had 21 rebounds on Jan. 18 at Oakland. It was Campbell's 14th double-double over the last 15 games and the 12th time she has scored over 20 points this season. Over the last six games, Campbell is averaging 17.0 rebounds per contest.

Campbell's 420 rebounds are the most in a single season in program history and the most in the history of the Horizon League. Campbell's 13.1 rebounds per game in conference play were also the highest in the history of the Horizon League.

Campbell leads the Horizon League in double-doubles (24), rebounds (12.7 rpg) and offensive rebounds (4.9 per game). Campbell also ranks second in blocks (1.5 bpg), third in field-goal percentage (.527), seventh in scoring (16.8 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 27 points at Eastern Michigan and passed Taylor Foulks (2009-13) to move into 17th place in program history with 1,037 career points. She is the only player in UIC’s 1,000-Point Club to accomplish the feat in two seasons. Story is 34 points away from Toni Stachon (1975-78) and Jacquese Gilbert (1988-91) for 15th place on UIC's all-time list.

At Eastern Michigan, Story picked up her fifth 20-point performance over the last six games and 15th 20-point effort of the season. Story converted a career-high 12 field goals on 19 attempts and picked up a career-high six steals.

Story ranks fourth in the Horizon League at 18.4 points per game. Elsewhere, she ranks eighth in made three-pointers (1.9 per game) and ninth in free-throw percentage (.746). Story also contributes 2.6 assists and 1.5 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 19 points and passed Toni Stachon (1975-78) and Jacquese Gilbert (1988-91) into 14th place in program history with 1,073 career points. She is 49 points away from Krystal Hugelier (2003-06) for 13th place on UIC's all-time list.

Hannemann grabbed four rebounds at Eastern Michigan and her 592 career rebounds rank ninth in program history. She also sank three attempts from the charity stripe and sits ninth in program history with 263 made free throws.

Hannemann is scoring a career-high 14.7 points per contest and ranks fifth in the Horizon League in field-goal percentage (.516). She also ranks seventh in the conference with 7.5 rebounds per game and third in offensive rebounds (3.4 per game).


Sophomore Terri Bender had nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals at Eastern Michigan. During WBI play, Bender is averaging 7.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game.

Bender is two steals away from UIC’s single-season steals record and six assists away from the assists record. She owns 92 steals and 140 assists this season. Both program records were set in 1980-81 as Ava Walker had 93 steals and Betty Kollar dished out 145 assists.

Bender leads the Horizon League with 2.8 steals per game. Additionally, Bender's 4.2 assists per game rank third in the conference. Over the last eight games, Bender has averaged 5.6 assists per contest and passed four players in the League’s rankings.


Senior Emily Kobel sank 4-of-9 three-point attempts at Eastern Michigan and finished with 14 points. She has drained a team-high 61 triples this season and became the sixth player in program history with 150 made three-pointers. Kobel has passed five players in the record book during the 2013-14 campaign.

Kobel has made 10-of-21 attempts from beyond the arc over the last three contests. Since the Wright State game on Feb. 15, Kobel has converted 41.5 percent of her three-point attempts (22-of-53).

Kobel leads UIC by shooting 33.7 percent from downtown and 78.1 percent from the free throw line. She ranks ninth 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 (29-5) is ranked No. 1 in the poll but lost to No. 3 James Madison in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.


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.