Flames Look for Nine Straight Wins Saturday Against Denver

Rachel Story ranks 38th nationally at 20.4 points per game
Rachel Story ranks 38th nationally at 20.4 points per game

Dec. 26, 2013


Story Named The Horizon League's Player of the Week (Dec. 23)
Horizon League Stats

2013-14 Prospectus
2013-14 Yearbook
Record Book

Denver (1-10) at UIC (8-2)
 Date Saturday, Dec. 28
 Time 7 p.m. CT
 Location Chicago, Ill. | UIC Pavilion
 Live Stats
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 Game Notes UIC Flames | Denver Pioneers
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 2013-14 Season Stats UIC Flames | Denver Pioneers
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Nickname: Pioneers
Conference: The Summit League
Head Coach: Kerry Cremeans (2nd season)
2012-13 Record: 14-17 overall, 8-10 in WAC play (6th)
Series History: First Meeting
2013-14 Leader in:
Points – Kailey Edwards (13.0 ppg)
Rebounds – Maiya Michel (8.4 rpg)
Assists – Paige Bradley (4.5 apg)
Steals – Morgan Van Riper-Rose (1.0 spg)
Blocked Shots - Desiree Hunter (0.6 bpg)


Winners of eight straight, the UIC women’s basketball team (8-2) looks to match the best eleven-game start in program history Saturday (Dec. 28) when the Flames play host to Denver (1-10). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT inside the UIC Pavilion.

The Flames' 8-2 record is the best ten-game start in the Division I era (1980-present). UIC started 9-1 during the 1976-77 and 1977-78 seasons. A win Saturday would match those 1976-77 and 1977-78 squads (9-2) for the best eleven-game start in program history.

It is also the first eight-game win streak since Jan. 11-Feb. 10, 2007 in the midst of a program-record 11 consecutive victories. Four of the eight victories have been over 2012-13 WNIT participants (Idaho State, Miami Ohio, Texas Southern and Butler).

UIC won its eighth consecutive game Saturday (Dec. 21) with a 58-56 road victory over Big Ten program Wisconsin (6-5) inside UW Field House. Rachel Story scored a game-high 25 points and hit the game-winning three-pointer with 20 seconds remaining.

UIC won the rebounding battle (43-33) for the ninth time this season and the Flames are 8-1 in those contests. UIC had 15 offensive rebounds, the seventh time this season that the Flames have collected at least 15 offensive caroms.

UIC collected seven steals and scored 11 points off 11 Wisconsin turnovers. The Flames also held advantages in points in the paint (28-24) and second-chance points (12-6).

Second-year head coach Kerry Cremeans guided the Pioneers to a 14-17 overall record last season. The Pioneers joined their third conference in as many seasons in July. Denver was picked to finish fifth in The Summit League’s Preseason Poll.

Guards Kailey Edwards (13.0 ppg, 3.0 apg), Morgan Van Riper-Rose (11.8 ppg) and Paige Bradley (11.9 ppg, 4.5 apg) lead Denver in the backcourt. Maiya Michel (5.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and Theresa Wirth (9.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg) are the Pioneers’ inside presence.

Denver’s lone win this season was on Nov. 16 at Air Force, 72-64. Denver most recently dropped a 71-54 decision at Marquette (Dec. 20). The Pioneers conclude their Midwest road trip at Illinois State Monday (Dec. 30).

UIC will be home for the first time in five weeks Saturday. The Flames made trips to Puerto Rico, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin since a 76-66 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Nov. 23 at the UIC Pavilion.

UIC traveled approximately 4,980 miles and spent 11 days away from Chicago. Three out of the next five contests (Dec. 28-Jan. 11) are at the UIC Pavilion and the two road trips (DeKalb, Ill. and Green Bay, Wis.) will total approximately 550 miles.

The strong play of Ruvanna Campbell and Katie Hannemann this season has allowed UIC to dominate opponents inside the paint. UIC ranks first in the Horizon League in rebounding margin (+8.9) and offensive rebounds (16.6 per game). The Flames also rank second in scoring defense (65.9 ppg) and third in blocked shots (2.9 bpg).

UIC’s strong inside play has helped the Flames score an average of 71.3 points per contest, good for fourth in the Horizon League. The Flames averaged 59.6 points per contests over the first ten games (3-7 record) of last season.

One of UIC’s biggest improvements since last season has been taking advantage of the free throw line. UIC has made an average of 19.4 free throws on 29.8 attempts per game this season. Over the first ten games of the 2012-13 season, the Flames made an average of 10.2 free throws on 15.6 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 margin (+5.4 to -6.9), rebounding margin (+8.9 to -3.3), field-goal percentage (.410 to .362) and three-point field-goal percentage (.336 to .264).

UIC ranks in the top 100 nationally in many statistical categories. The Flames are 36th in rebounding margin (+8.9) and 84th in three-point field-goal percentage (.336).

Individually, Ruvanna Campbell ranks 12th in double-doubles (7), 19th in rebounding (11.3 rpg), 85th in blocked shots (1.60 bpg) and 79th in field-goal percentage (.514). Rachel Story ranks 38th in scoring (20.4 ppg) and 33rd in three-point field goal percentage (.439). Terri Bender’s 2.30 steals per contest rank 91st.

Senior guard Rachel Story was named The Horizon League's “Player of the Week" for the period of Dec. 16-22. It was the second “Player of the Week” award for Story this season as she also earned the honor on Nov. 25.

Story averaged 25.0 points last week in wins at Western Michigan (Dec. 18) and Wisconsin (Dec. 21). The Flames are undefeated (8-0) with Story in the lineup this season.

Story owns two straight 20-point efforts, four this season and 15 in her UIC career. She has been in double-figures in 11 straight contests dating back to last season.

Story is averaging 20.4 points and shooting 43.9 percent from downtown (18-of-41). She ranks third in The Horizon League in scoring, first in minutes played (38.0 per game), third in three-point field goal percentage, fifth in three-pointers made (2.3 per game), ninth in field goal percentage (.462) and ninth in free-throw percentage (.746).

Story was 5-of-6 from three-point land (.833) against Miami (Nov. 23), which is the conference’s second most efficient performance. She was a career-high 11-of-15 from the charity stripe at Western Michigan (Dec. 18).

Redshirt sophomore Ruvanna Campbell collected her eighth double-digit rebounding effort at Wisconsin with eight points and 11 rebounds. She had six offensive rebounds, which is one off her season-high (7) at SIUE (Nov. 20).

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 14.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.6 blocks over the first ten games of the season.

In the Horizon League, Campbell ranks first in double-doubles (7), first in rebounds, first in offensive rebounds (4.4 per game), second in blocks, and second in field-goal percentage (.514). Campbell owns two 20-point efforts this season and has been in double-figures nine times.

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.

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.

Redshirt senior Katie Hannemann averaged 6.9 rebounds a game last season and has continued her excellence on the glass as she ranks sixth in The Horizon League with 8.4 rebounds per contest. Additionally, she ranks fourth in the conference in offensive rebounds (3.0 per game).

Hannemann, who scores 13.5 points per contest, ranks fifth in the conference in field-goal percentage (.484) and is shooting a career-high .726 from the free throw line. She has been in double-figures in eight contests this season. 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 123 more points this season to enter the program’s Top 20 scorers. Hannemann (429 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 9th in assists (3.4 apg).

Bender is scoring 7.5 points per contest after averaging 6.3 per game last season. She is also averaging 4.9 rebounds per game, almost double of her freshman campaign (2.5 rpg).

At Wisconsin, Bender collected a career-high nine rebounds to go along with six assists and two steals. 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 85 appearances over her four-year career and is on the cusp of entering the UIC record books. She made two-three pointers at Wisconsin (105 career made three-pointers) and needs two more three-pointers to enter the program's Top 10.

This season, Kobel has started all ten contests and is averaging 7.6 points per game. She ranks 13th 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 4.9 rebounds over 32.2 minutes per game. Kobel had averaged 2.1 rebounds per contest in her career entering this season.

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 (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.