Illinois-Chicago (3-6) at Southeast Missouri State (7-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 14, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Show Me Center (6,972) -- Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Television: None. Home Record: Illinois-Chicago 1-4, SEMO 2-0. Away Record: Illinois-Chicago 0-1, SEMO 2-2. Neutral Record: Illinois-Chicago 2-1, SEMO 3-0. Conference Record: Illinois-Chicago 0-0, SEMO 0-0. Series Record: Illinois-Chicago leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The streaking Southeast Missouri State Redhawks look to keep their winning ways going as they host the Illinois-Chicago Flames in a non- conference tilt at the Show Me Center.
In its last bout, SEMO escaped with a 74-73 victory on the road over Southeastern Louisiana. The win was the fifth straight for the Redhawks, who are off to a 7-2 start. Saturday's duel marks just the third home game for the Redhawks, who took in wins in their first two as hosts. A major challenge at Memphis looms following this matchup.
UIC has not been rattling off wins like SEMO has been this season. The Flames have lost back-to-back games and three of their last four after a 73-70 letdown against cross-town rival Loyola-Chicago last Saturday. UIC is 3-6 overall on the campaign and lost its only other true road test. The Flames get back home for their next matchup against a non-Division I school in Purdue- Calument.
Last November these teams met for the first time ever at UIC Pavilion. The hosting Flames captured a 56-45 victory in that bout.
In the second half against Loyola, the Flames just couldn't keep up. UIC connected on just 40.7 percent of their attempts from the field, while allowing the Ramblers to nail 66.7 percent. Marc Brown led four players in double figures, with 18 points.
Failing to keep up has been a trend for the Flames. UIC is allowing 77.8 points per game to foes, who are connecting on 50 percent of their shots from the floor. UIC scores at a 72.3 points per game rate itself, while shooting at 43.1 percent. Kelsey Barlow (16.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.3 apg) is a versatile contributor, who leads the team in points and assists. Barlow struggled to find his groove against Loyola with only 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Brown (13.4 ppg) is the only other double-figure scorer on the roster. In fact, no other player is putting in more than seven points per game.
Over the final seven minutes the Redhawks had their lead slashed to a single point four times against Southeast Louisiana. However, they were able to pull out the victory thanks to timely scoring and misses from the Lions on three of their final four field-goal attempts.
The 74 points the Redhawks managed in that victory was actually far below their normal offensive output. SEMO is netting 87.4 points per game this season, which ranks among the top 15 teams in the nation, as does the Redhawks' production in assists (17.3 pg) and field-goal percentage (.513). Tyler Stone (19.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg) and Jarekious Bradley (18.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg) keep the offense humming. Stone finished with 20 points and nine rebounds against the Lions, while Bradley also had 20 points along with 10 rebounds. Stone and Bradley get plenty of help from the rest of the roster with Darrian Gray (11 ppg), Antonius Cleveland (10.9 ppg), Nino Johnson (10.1 ppg) and Lucas Nutt (9.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) all making their mark.
This is not the right matchup for UIC to begin to fix its defensive woes. With a litany of scorers on their side the Redhawks will run away with this decision.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SE Missouri State 83, Illinois-Chicago 71
12/14 10:43:06 ET