Illinois-Chicago (14-10) at Youngstown State (14-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 10, 2:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Beeghly Center (6,300) -- Youngstown, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: UIC 9-2, YSU 8-2. Away Record: UIC 3-7, YSU 6-6. Neutral Record: UIC 2-1, YSU 0-2. Conference Record: UIC 5-6, YSU 6-5. Series Record: Illinois-Chicago leads, 23-7.
GAME NOTES: The Youngstown State Penguins go for their fifth win a row at home as the Illinois-Chicago Flames visit the Beeghly Center for Horizon League action.
This will be the 31st encounter in history between these programs on the hardwood. UIC owns a 23-7 all-time series lead in the rivalry after its 65-60 decision over the Penguins at home on Jan. 2. In that contest, Gary Talton drilled a go-ahead 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining and made three free throws to seal the deal to lift the Flames to the win.
Talton, who leads the Flames with 13.0 ppg, was not able to find the same success in the recent 86-61 loss at Valparaiso. He was held to just six points on 3-of-7 shooting by the Crusaders while Josh Crittle and Daniel Barnes netted 12 points apiece in the lopsided setback. The poor showing against Valpo dropped UIC to a 14-10 overall record including a 5-6 mark in Horizon League action.
The Flames have one of the poorest offenses in the conference with an average of just 61.3 ppg, but they usually stifle their opposition to give up only 61.1 ppg. That was not the case against Valpo however, as they allowed the Crusaders to net 60 percent of their field goal tries including 15-of-26 from beyond the arc. UIC shot just 36.4 percent from the field in the game, which included a 2- of-14 showing from 3-point distance. Barnes (11.0), Hayden Humes (10.3) and Crittle (10.1) all join Talton with double-digit scoring averages, but none of the other Flames are producing more than five points per contest.
The Penguins snapped a a two-game slide on Thursday with a thrilling 60-59 decision over Loyola-Chicago at home. YSU now sits at a 14-10 overall record that includes a 6-5 mark in league action. Coach Jerry Slocum's squad also has a four-game winning streak intact at the Beeghly Center, where it is 8-2 on the season. Kedrick Perry tallied 18 points in the win over the Ramblers, which came compliment of Blake Allen's game-winning 3-pointer with 12 seconds left.
Perry is having an all-conference caliber season with averages of 16.1 points, 4.1 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. Damian Eargle is chiming in with 12.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest while Allen (10.7) and Kamren Belin (9.9) both make significant contributions to YSU's 70.8 points per game average. The Penguins are usually not a very stingy team defensively as they allow 66.7 ppg. But they were better than usual in their win over the Ramblers, who shot 41.5 percent from the floor and committed 13 turnovers.
These schools come into this affair in almost the same position in the middle of the pack in the Horizon League. YSU's recent winning streak at home should give it a solid dose of confidence as it attempts to fend off the Flames.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Youngstown State 70, Illinois-Chicago 63
02/10 10:32:43 ET