Cleveland State (11-9) at Illinois-Chicago (5-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 22, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UIC Pavilion (6,958) -- Chicago, Illinois.
Television: HLN. Home Record: CSU 8-2, UIC 2-7. Away Record: CSU 3-7, UIC 1-5.
Neutral Record: CSU 0-0, UIC 2-2. Conference Record: CSU 3-3, UIC 0-5. Series
Record: Cleveland State leads, 41-33.
GAME NOTES: Attempting to put their eight-game losing streak in the rearview
mirror, the Illinois-Chicago Flames will welcome the Cleveland State Vikings
to UIC Pavilion on Wednesday night for Horizon League action.
Cleveland State has been wading in mediocrity for most of the season, as it
sits at 11-9 overall and 3-3 in league play. The Vikings most recently
suffered a 49-46 setback at home to Wright State on Sunday and now head back
out on the road, where they've gone just 3-7.
UIC has not enjoyed a victory since taking down Purdue-Calumet back on Dec.
17, and its eight-game skid has included setbacks in each of its first five
Horizon League bouts. The Flames have not had much solace at UIC Pavilion
either (2-7) and began their current three-game homestand with tough losses to
Milwaukee (67-63) and Green Bay (69-64).
Cleveland State had been winners of 12 straight in the all-time series before
UIC won in the first round of last season's Horizon League Tournament, 82-59.
The Vikings still lead the series by a 41-33 count.
The Vikings fell behind Wright State by as many as 13 midway through the
second half, and while they climbed all the way back to make it just a three-
point contest in the final minute, they ultimately fell short when Trey Lewis
missed the potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer. They shot a meager
32.7 percent from the field in the low-scoring affair (including 5-of-21 from
3-point range). Jon Harris led the way in a reserve role with 17 points and 11
rebounds. Bryn Forbes scored 14 points, and while Lewis shot a terrible 2-
of-13 from the floor, he helped out with 10 rebounds.
It was a rare performance for Cleveland State, which outshoots its opponents
from the field this season, 47.3 percent to 40.7 percent, scoring 73.8 ppg
while allowing just 67.4 ppg. Forbes is the pace setter with 15.8 ppg,
draining 2.5 3-pointers per game at a 41.7 percent clip while also posting a
great free-throw percentage (.855). Lewis (13.7 ppg, 3.4 apg), Harris (10.6
ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Anton Grady (10.3 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers,
although Grady has missed the past two games.
The Flames appeared poised to snapped their losing streak in their most recent
contest, as they held a lead over Green Bay for more than 14 minutes of the
second half, but they fell victim to a late Phoenix run and finished on the
wrong end of a five-point decision. They shot a modest 42.9 percent from the
field on the afternoon but were hindered the most by their poor showing at the
foul line (18-of-31). Pat Birt put up 13 points to lead the charge, while
Jordan Harks added 11 points.
UIC's disappointing season record wise has been accurately portray its in
stats, as its lackluster scoring offense (68.7 ppg) has not been strong enough
to support its porous defense (73.2 ppg). Kelsey Barlow contributes all over
the floor with 15.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.7 apg and 1.2 spg, but all that production
comes at the detriment of his field goal percentage (.398). Marc Brown (12.9
ppg) is the only other player to average in double figures, although four
others net between 6.1 and 7.4 ppg.
UIC has played tight battles in its last two home games, and expect much of
the same in this one against a Cleveland State squad that has struggled so
much on the road. In the end, the Flames are more likely to find a way to
lose the game down the stretch than the other way around.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cleveland State 70, Illinois-Chicago 67
01/22 10:39:53 ET
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