Flames Look for Eight Straight Wins Saturday at Wisconsin

Ruvanna Campbell (14.8 ppg & 11.3 rpg) leads The Horizon League with seven double-doubles
Ruvanna Campbell (14.8 ppg & 11.3 rpg) leads The Horizon League with seven double-doubles

Dec. 20, 2013


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UIC (7-2) at Wisconsin (6-4)
 Date Saturday, Dec. 21
 Time 5 p.m. CT
 Location Madison, Wis. | UW Field House
 Live Stats
 Audio WIBA 1310 AM
 Game Notes UIC Flames | Wisconsin Badgers
 Social Media


 2013-14 Season Stats UIC Flames | Wisconsin Badgers

Nickname: Badgers
Conference: Big Ten
Head Coach: Bobbie Kelsey (3rd season)
2012-13 Record: 12-19 overall, 3-13 in Big Ten play (11th)
Series History: UW leads 13-5
Series Streak: UW has won 13 straight meetings
Last Meeting:
UW won 75-53 (12/7/06 @UW)
2013-14 Leader in:
Points – Michala Johnson (15.0 ppg)
Rebounds – Michala Johnson (8.2 rpg)
Assists – Dakota Whyte (2.9 apg)
Steals – Michala Johnson (0.9 spg)
Blocked Shots - Jacki Gulczynski (1.7 bpg)


Winners of seven straight, the UIC women’s basketball team (7-2) looks for the best ten-game start in the Division I era Saturday (Dec. 21) when the Flames play at Wisconsin (6-4). Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. CT inside the UW Field House. The Flames’ 7-2 record matches the 2001-02 squad for the best nine-game start in the Division I era.

A win Saturday would be the best ten-game start (8-2) in the Division I era. UIC started 9-1 twice (1976-77 & 1977-78) prior to becoming a Division I program for the 1980-81 season.

It is also UIC’s first seven-game win streak since Jan. 11-Feb. 8, 2007 in the midst of a program-record 11 consecutive victories. Four of the seven victories have been over 2012-13 WNIT participants (Idaho State, Miami Ohio, Texas Southern and Butler).

UIC won its seven consecutive game Wednesday (Dec. 18) with a 71-61 road victory over Western Michigan (3-6) inside University Arena. Rachel Story scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Flames while Katie Hannemann (15 points and seven rebounds) and Ruvanna Campbell (13 points and 15 rebounds) had strong games inside the paint.

UIC and WMU both shot 36.7 percent from the field (22-of-60) but the Flames held a 26-to-13 advantage in made free throws. UIC out-rebounded WMU 47-37 and held a 13-7 advantage in second-chance points. The Flames scored 12 points off 14 Western Michigan turnovers.

Third-year head coach Bobbie Kelsey guided the Badgers to a 12-19 overall record last season. Wisconsin returns starters Morgan Paige (12.7 ppg), Jacki Gulczynski (9.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.7 bpg) and Taylor Wurtz (14.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.7 apg) while adding junior transfer Michala Johnson (15.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg) from Connecticut. Johnson sat out the 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules. She played in 56 games and averaged 5.1 minutes per contest over two years with the Huskies.

The Flames and Badgers most recently met on Dec. 7, 2006. In that matchup, Wisconsin defeated UIC 75-53 at the Kohl Center in Madison. UIC’s LaShonda Grant had 20 points and Krystal Hugelier added 11.

A UIC victory Saturday would be the first win over Wisconsin in 34 seasons as the Flames have dropped 13 straight in the series. It would also be UIC’s third road Big Ten victory in the Division I era. The Flames have defeated Northwestern twice away from the UIC Pavilion (2002-03 & 2004-05).

The strong play of Ruvanna Campbell, Katie Hannemann and Emily Kobel this season has allowed UIC to dominate opponents inside the paint. UIC ranks first in the Horizon League in rebounding margin (+8.8), offensive rebounds (16.8 per game) and blocked shots (3.0 per game).

UIC’s strong inside play has helped the Flames score an average of 72.8 points per contest, good for third in the Horizon League. The Flames averaged 58.9 points per game over the first nine games (2-7 record) of last season. UIC also ranks second in scoring defense (67.0 ppg), field-goal percentage (.413), field-goal percentage defense (.387), three-point field-goal percentage (.333) and three-point field-goal percentage defense (.293).

One of UIC’s biggest improvements since last season has been taking advantage of the free throw line. UIC has made an average of 21.2 free throws on 32.3 attempts per game this season. Over the first nine games of the 2012-13 season, the Flames made an average of 8.9 free throws on 14 attempts per game.

UIC has already made 20-plus free throws four times this season while the 2012-13 squad had two 20-plus efforts overall. The Flames’ 31 made free throws against Idaho State (Nov. 15) leads The Horizon League.

Other notable areas of improvement include scoring average (72.8 to 58.9), scoring margin (+5.8 to -8.2), rebounding margin (+8.8 to -3.2), field-goal percentage (.413 to .360) and three-point field-goal percentage (.333 to .260).

UIC ranks in the top 100 nationally in many statistical categories. The Flames are 34th in rebounding margin (+8.8), 59th in three-point field-goal percentage (.333) and 90th in scoring offense (72.8).

Individually, Ruvanna Campbell ranks tenth in double-doubles (7), 24th in rebounding (11.3 rpg), 83rd in blocked shots (1.66 bpg) and 84th in field-goal percentage (.521). Rachel Story ranks 70th in scoring (19.7 ppg), 66th in three-pointers made (2.1 per game) and 39th in three-point field goal percentage (.429). Katie Hannemann’s 8.8 rebounds per game and Terri Bender’s 2.33 steals per contest both rank 87th.

Redshirt sophomore Ruvanna Campbell had 13 points and 15 rebounds at Western Michigan to record her Horizon League-leading seventh double-double of the season. Campbell has made an immediate impact at UIC after sitting out the 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules. The 6-foot-3 forward has averaged 14.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.7 blocks over the first nine games of the season.

In the Horizon League, Campbell ranks first in rebounds, second in blocks, second in offensive rebounds (4.2 per game), second in field-goal percentage (.521), tenth in steals and tenth in scoring. Campbell owns two 20-point efforts this season and has been in double-figures in every game.

Campbell had career highs of 24 points and 18 rebounds against Ohio (Nov. 29) and became the first UIC player to grab 18 rebounds since Dejeanette Flournoy on March 6, 2005 against Green Bay during the Horizon League Tournament. Campbell’s 18 rebounds and 10-of-12 shooting (.833) against Ohio are Horizon League highs. She also had three blocks against Ohio and 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.

Senior Rachel Story led UIC in scoring last season and ranked sixth in the Horizon League at 15.6 points per game. While she missed the first two games of this season, Story once again leads UIC in scoring at 19.7 points per game. The Flames are undefeated (7-0) with Story in the lineup.

Story had 17 second-half points at Western Michigan and finished with 25. She was a career-high 11-of-15 from the charity stripe and has been in double-figures in ten straight contests dating back to last season.

Story ranks fourth in the conference in scoring, second in minutes played (37.9 per game), fourth in three-pointers made (2.1 per game), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.429) and eighth in free-throw percentage (.763). Story, The Horizon League's “Player of the Week" on Nov. 25, owns three 20-point efforts this season and 14 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.

Redshirt senior Katie Hannemann averaged 6.9 rebounds a game last season and has continued her excellence on the glass as she ranks fifth in The Horizon League with 8.8 rebounds per contest. Additionally, she ranks fourth in the conference in offensive rebounds (3.3 per game).

Hannemann, who scores 14.1 points per contest, ranks third in the conference in field-goal percentage (.506) and is shooting a career-high .738 from the free throw line. She had 15 points and seven rebounds at Western Michigan and has been in double-figures in eight consecutive contests. Hannemann owns three double-doubles this season and eight in her career.

Hannemann tied a career high by pulling down 15 rebounds against Idaho State (Nov. 15). She reached the 700 point milestone at Butler (Dec. 7) and needs 131 more points this season to enter the program’s Top 20 scorers. Hannemann (424 career rebounds) is also on pace to enter the program’s Top 10 rebounders.

Sophomore Terri Bender had an outstanding rookie season as she started 23 games at point guard for UIC last year. This year, Bender ranks second in the Horizon League in steals (2.3 spg) and 11th in assists (3.1 apg).

Bender is scoring 7.9 points per contest after averaging 6.3 per game last season. Bender had seven points, seven rebounds, three assists and two of UIC’s six steals at Western Michigan. She set a career-high at Butler (Dec. 7) with six steals, which ranks as The Horizon League’s second best effort.

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.

Senior Emily Kobel has made 84 appearances over her four-year career and is on the cusp of entering the UIC record books. She made two-three pointers at Butler (103 career made three-pointers) and needs four more three-pointers to enter the program’s Top 10.

This season, Kobel has started all nine contests and is averaging 7.8 points per game. She ranks 12th in the conference with 1.6 three-pointers made per contest. Kobel’s 16-point performance against St. Xavier (Nov. 8) is one shy of her career high (17 vs. Detroit - 2/23/13).

Kobel has also averaged 1.1 steals and 4.8 rebounds over 31.8 minutes per game. Kobel had averaged 2.1 rebounds per contest in her career entering this season.

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 (pre-1980-81 season).

Katie Hannemann and Rachel Story were voted Preseason First Team All-Horizon League. Additionally, UIC received three first-place votes in the poll and was picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League's preseason poll by the League's head coaches, SIDs and media members.

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.

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.