UC Riverside (0-1) at Illinois-Chicago (0-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 11, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UIC Pavilion (6,958) -- Chicago, Illinois. Television: Horizon League Network. Home Record: UCR 0-0, UIC 0-0. Away Record: UCR 0-1, UIC 0-0. Neutral Record: UCR 0-0, UIC 0-0. Conference Record: UCR 0-0, UIC 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The UC Riverside Highlanders remain in the Windy City to take on the Illinois-Chicago Flames in a non-conference tilt at the UIC Pavilion.
This will be the first-ever encounter between these schools on the hardwood.
The Highlanders' first outing of the season ended with them trailing DePaul, 91-59. The Blue Demons used a 12-0 run midway through the second half to create separation on the scoreboard and never looked back. UC Riverside is now in its 12th season at the Division I level. It has recorded just one winning season during that span. Coach Jim Woolridge is 64-87 with the Highlanders. He previously coached Kansas State and Louisiana Tech before arriving in the Golden State.
UIC will be making its season debut after a disappointing 8-22 finish last season. Coach Howard Moore's tenure has yielded an unimpressive 15-46 overall record without a conference win on the road since taking over the helm of the program. Moore has managed to lead his squad to wins in each of the past two season's home openers. The Flames had the worst defense in the Horizon League in 2011-2012 with an allowed average of 67.8 ppg.
UC Riverside averaged 59.4 ppg on 41 percent shooting last season. Not much changed in the early going of 2012-2013 as the Highlanders tallied 59 points on 41.2 percent shooting in their season opening loss to DePaul. They hurt themselves in the loss by making only 12-of-24 free throw attempts and turning the ball over 24 times. The UC Riverside backcourt of Josh Fox (17 points) and Austin Quick (15 points) led the scoring charge. Chris Patton was the team's most productive forward with six points, nine rebounds, and four assists. Robert Smith netted nine points, but also committed a team-high seven times.
For UIC, Hayden Humes (6-8, 215) and his play at forward will be important for it in this one. Humes converted a team-best 41.8 percent of his three-point attempts in his first season at UIC last year and scored in double figures in seven of the last nine games. Josh Crittle will be making his debut with the team. The senior center played all 31 games for UCF last season and started 25 of those contests. Due to NCAA violations, UCF was banned from postseason play which allowed Crittle to transfer to UIC without having to sit out. The UIC backcourt starts two experienced seniors in Gary Talton (11.6 ppg) and Danny Barnes (10.4 ppg). Talton led the team with 11.9 ppg and 99 assists last season.
The Flames should be a much better team this season with Crittle anchoring the middle. Talton and Barnes should benefit from having a legitimate center playing with them in the starting five. UC Riverside needs to figure out how to be more consistent before it will be able to win games on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Illinois-Chicago 71, UC Riverside 63
11/11 10:33:51 ET