Youngstown State (9-8) at Illinois Chicago (5-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 7, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UIC Pavilion (8,000) -- Chicago, Illinois. Television: Horizon League Network. Home Record: Youngstown State 6-1, Illinois Chicago 2-4. Away Record: Youngstown State 1-7, Illinois Chicago 1-4. Neutral Record: Youngstown State 2-0, Illinois Chicago 2-2. Conference Record: Youngstown State 0-2, Illinois Chicago 0-1. Series Record: Illinois Chicago leads, 24-7.
GAME NOTES: The Illinois Chicago Flames look to end a four-game losing streak as they host the Youngstown State Penguins in Horizon League action at the UIC Pavilion Tuesday.
Youngstown State has a bit of a skid going as well, having lost its last two games and seven of its last 10. The Penguins were dispatched by Green Bay, 85-69, on Saturday, leaving the Penguins with two losses early in Horizon League play. This matchup against UIC is the third contest in a three-game road trip for YSU.
Illinois Chicago is struggling of late just as much as Youngstown State, having lost its last four games and six of its last eight overall. The Flames return home after a loss at Valparaiso, 87-72, on Thursday. UIC sports a 5-10 overall record as it heads into its second Horizon League matchup this season.
Illinois Chicago owns a decisive 24-7 series lead over Youngstown State. These two teams will meet up again in Youngstown on Feb. 15 to close out the annual season series.
Youngstown State had four players score in double figures against Green Bay, but it wasn't enough to claim a victory in the team's second HL contest this season. Bobby Hain led the way for the Penguins with 18 points in the matchup against Green Bay on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor, and hit an impressive 10- of-12 free throws. He added seven rebounds to his stat line, which was a team- high in the loss. Kendrick Perry contributed 14 points and five rebounds, but was 0-of-4 from 3-point range. Kamren Belin (12) and Ryan Weber (11) were the other two Penguins with double-digit point totals in the contest. YSU's bench only contributed six points in the loss.
Perry leads the team in scoring with an impressive 21 ppg average, and is tops on the Penguins roster with 74 assists this season. He's had a lot of help in an otherwise sub par season record-wise for YSU, as three other players record double-digit totals. Belin (12.9 ppg), Hain (10.5 ppg) and Weber (10.4 ppg) are the team's other top scorers, while Hain brings down a team-high 6.9 rpg. As a team, Youngstown State averages 80.9 ppg this season on 45.7 percent shooting.
Illinois Chicago held a 40-32 halftime lead over Valparaiso Thursday, but the defending Horizon League champion Crusaders dominated in the second half, outscoring the Flames 55-32 to run away with the victory. Marc Brown led UIC with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, contributing six rebounds to the losing effort. Kelsey Barlow scored 13, and Hayden Humes added 12 for the Flames, who shot 50.9 percent from the floor. It was Valpo that stole the show in the second half by shooting 69.2 percent from the field.
Barlow leads the Flames this season in scoring, while Brown is only other player to average double figure point totals. Barlow nets an average of 16.7 ppg, with Brown netting 12.7 ppg. Barlow, with a 41.4 shooting percentage this season, also leads the team in rebounding, averaging 5.1 rpg. The 70.9 ppg Illinois Chicago nets per night is less than what the team gives up (74.8 ppg) to the opposition.
Illinois Chicago may have the home crowd in its favor, but Youngstown State is a more well-rounded team with healthy scoring totals. UIC won't be able to handle the Penguins.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Youngstown State 78, Illinois Chicago 69
01/07 10:32:22 ET