Illinois-Chicago (5-11) at Wright State (10-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 12, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Nutter Center (10,400) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UIC 2-5, WSU 8-0. Away Record: UIC 1-4, WSU 1-8. Neutral Record: UIC 2-2, WSU 1-0. Conference Record: UIC 0-2, WSU 2-1. Series Record: Series is tied, 23-23.
GAME NOTES: The Illinois-Chicago Flames will attempt to put an end to their season-long five-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon when they travel to the Nutter Center for a Horizon League clash with the Wright State Raiders.
UIC continued its losing streak last Wednesday at home against Youngstown State, falling by a 75-62 final to dip to 0-2 in the Horizon League. The Flames are now just 5-11 overall this season, which includes only one win in five true road contests.
On the other hand, Wright State has played well of late, with its 62-45 triumph at Valparaiso on Friday night its fifth in its last six games. The Raiders, who are 10-8 overall, sit at 2-1 in league play and have yet to lose in eight tries at the Nutter Center.
After 46 all-time meetings, UIC and Wright State are knotted up at 23 games apiece, with the Flames sweeping the season series in 2012-13.
Although the Flames fought hard with Youngstown State for much of their latest contest, which had 10 ties and 11 lead changes, they lost control down the stretch to lose by a 13-point final. They certainly didn't help themselves offensively, as they shot just 38.2 percent from the field (including 2-of-12 from 3-point range) and committed a game-high 16 turnovers. Kelsey Barlow, despite coughing up six turnovers himself, was the team's top performer with 17 points, and Marc Brown was also stellar with 14 points. UIC, which has lost four straight games by double-digit margins, has struggled on both ends of the floor this season, getting outshot by its opponents, 47.8 percent to 44 percent, for a -4.5 scoring margin. Barlow the unquestioned catalyst, as he not only scores a team-best 16.7 ppg but helps out elsewhere with 4.9 rpg, 4.4 apg and 1.4 spg. Brown (12.8 ppg) is the only other play in double figures, although Jordan Harks (7.7 ppg) shoots a lofty 62.2 percent from the field.
The Raiders opened up a 15-point lead at the half on Friday night against Valpo and cruised to the victory from there. They shot a lackluster 35.8 percent from the field on the evening, but luckily they made up for it with an excellent defensive effort, holding Valpo to less than 32 percent shooting and winning the takeaway battle, 14-4. Miles Dixon paced the modest scoring effort with 12 points, while Reggie Arceneaux tallied 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals. Wright State has established a similar theme this season. Despite shooting an impressive 46 percent from the field, its scoring output (68.7 ppg) has been below average, but it doesn't matter much considering its outstanding defensive pressure, holding opposing teams to just 42 percent from the field for 61.5 ppg. Its turnover margin (+3.9), which ranks top-25 in the nation, is also a big factor in its success. AJ Pacher (10.4 ppg) shoots a blistering 64.6 percent from the field, while Dixon's (10.0 ppg) success from the floor has been far more sporadic (.396).
UIC's luck isn't expected to change in this one heading into one of the more difficult buildings in the Horizon League to play in. Wright State's stout defense will cause problems for the Flames all night long.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wright State 65, Illinois-Chicago 55
01/12 10:22:15 ET