Flames Seek Best Start in 12 Seasons at Butler Saturday
Dec. 5, 2013
A LOOK AT BUTLER
UIC GAME NOTES
SEEKING BEST START IN 12 SEASONS
UIC last started a season 5-2 in 2008-09, which also featured the Flames’ last five-game win streak (Nov. 22-Dec. 6, 2008). A win Saturday would match the Flames’ best eight-game start in the Division I era. Since UIC became a Division I member in 1980-81, the Flames have been 6-2 to start a season twice (1995-96 & 2001-02).
A win Saturday will be UIC’s first six-game win streak since Jan. 11-Feb. 3, 2007 in the midst of a program-record 11 consecutive victories. The Flames finished the 2006-07 season with 19 wins and earned their first trip to the postseason (WNIT).
LAST TIME OUT
UIC hit 27-of-36 free throws, including 16-of-16 in the first half. The Flames’ 75 percent shooting from the charity stripe ties a season-high. UIC also had 11 steals and scored 18 points off 20 Texas Southern turnovers.
UIC held a 47-38 advantage on the glass and improved to 5-1 this season when out-rebounding its opponent. UIC had 17 offensive rebounds and put back 17 second-chance points while limiting Texas Southern to six second-chance points.
Butler returned nine letterwinners from the 2012-13 season, which saw the Bulldogs earn a trip to postseason play. Butler won 17 games last season and lost to Toledo in the first round of the WNIT. UIC played host to Butler last season (Jan. 5, 2013) and dropped an 84-61 decision at the UIC Pavilion. The Bulldogs received 31 points from Daress McClung, who is now a senior.
The Bulldogs receive strong play from post players Liz Stratman (16.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 bpg) and McClung (14.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg) while Taylor Schippers (11.3 ppg, 3.9 apg) stars at guard. Stratman was the BIG EAST Player of the Week after averaging 23.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in a pair of victories during the Las Vegas Thanksgiving Shootout. The Bulldogs defeated Utah and Eastern Washington.
FLAMES DOMINATING THE PAINT
UIC’s strong inside play has helped the Flames score an average of 74.6 points per contest, good for second in the Horizon League behind Wright State (83.0 ppg). The Flames averaged 55.4 points per game over the first seven games of last season. UIC also ranks second in scoring defense (69.3 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage (.355).
UIC IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Individually, Ruvanna Campbell ranks ninth in double-doubles (5), 23rd in rebounding (11.0 rpg), 92nd in field-goal percentage (.513) and 98th in blocked shots (1.57 bpg). Katie Hannemann’s 9.1 rebounds per game sit 89th nationally.
If Rachel Story qualified for the national rankings (a player must appear in at least 75.0 percent of their team's games), she would rank 66th in scoring (19.2 ppg), 21st in three-pointers made (3.0 per game) and 33rd in three-point field goal percentage (.469).
CAMPBELL FILLS UP THE STAT SHEET
Campbell had career highs of 24 points and 18 rebounds against Ohio for her fifth double-double. The last UIC player to grab 18 rebounds was Dejeanette Flournoy on March 6, 2005 against Green Bay during the Horizon League Tournament. Campbell owns two 20-point efforts this season and has been in double-figures in every game.
Campbell leads the Horizon League in both double-doubles (5) and 10-plus rebound performances (5). Campbell’s 18 rebounds, 10-of-12 shooting (.833) and three blocks against Ohio are all Horizon League highs. She also had three blocks at Northwestern (Nov. 10).
Campbell sat out the entire 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules. She spent one year with La Salle (2011-12) and ranked as the Atlantic 10's top freshmen rebounder (7.6) and shot blocker (1.5). Campbell started 25 games for the Explorers and averaged 28.2 minutes per game.
FLAMES UNDEFEATED WITH STORY
While she does not qualify for the Horizon League rankings yet (a player must appear in at least 75.0 percent of their team's games), Story would rank fifth in the conference in scoring (19.2 ppg), second in three-pointers made (3.0 per game), second in three-point field goal percentage (.469) and second in minutes played (37.0 per game).
Story averaged 14.0 points in wins over Ohio and Texas Southern last weekend. She was named the Horizon League's “Player of the Week" on Nov. 25. Story has been in double-figures in every game she has played this season and now owns 29 performances of over 10 points in her UIC career.
Story’s five three-pointers against both SIUE (Nov. 20) and Miami (Nov. 23) are a career high. She was 5-of-6 from three-point land (.833) against Miami, which ranks is the conference’s second most efficient performance. Story owns two 20-point efforts this season and 13 in her career.
HANNEMANN CLEANS UP THE GLASS
Hannemann, who scores 13.7 points per contest, ranks sixth in the League in field goal percentage (.484) and is shooting a career-high .766 from the free throw line, which ranks ninth in the conference.
Hannemann had 19 points and 12 rebounds against Texas Southern for her eighth career double-double. Hannemann’s seven offensive rebounds against Texas Southern ties her career high set against Wright State (Feb. 21, 2013).
Hannemann tied a career high by pulling down 15 rebounds against Idaho State (Nov. 15). She has been in double-figures in six consecutive contests and owns three double-doubles this season.
BENDER SHINES AT POINT GUARD
Bender is scoring 8.4 points per contest after averaging 6.3 per game last season. She has hit five of her last seven attempts from beyond the arc. Bender had four steals against Texas Southern, one shy of her career high.
Bender stood as the only Horizon League freshmen to average more than 6.3 points, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game in 2012-13. She also ranked in the top four in all three categories among League rookies.
KOBEL FROM DOWNTOWN
This season, Kobel has started all seven contests and is averaging a career-high 8.3 points per game. She ranks seventh in the conference with 1.7 three-pointers made per contest. Her 11 three-point attempts against both St. Xavier and Idaho State are the second most in a single game in the League.
Kobel has also averaged 1.3 steals and 4.9 rebounds over 31.6 minutes per game. Kobel had averaged 2.1 rebounds per contest in her career entering this season.
WALLACE GUARDS THE HOOP
Wallace ranks fourth in the Horizon League in blocks (0.9 bpg) and has averaged 1.7 offensive rebounds per game. Wallace has contributed 4.1 rebounds over 13.7 minutes a contest.
Her three-block performance against St. Xavier is the conference’s best effort thus far. She owns 43 career blocks and needs 22 more this season to enter the program's Top 10.
HANNEMANN AND STORY EARN PRESEASON HONORS; UIC PICKED FORTH
Both Hannemann and Story had stellar years in 2012-13. Hannemann was voted Second Team All-League while Story was selected to the All-Newcomer squad. The duo combined to average nearly 30 points per game and led the Flames in scoring in 24 of their 29 regular season contests.
TWO NEW ASSISTANT COACHES
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.