Illinois-Chicago (9-2) at Miami-Ohio (3-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 22, 1:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Millett Hall (9,200) -- Oxford, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: UIC 5-0, MU 2-0. Away Record: UIC 2-1, MU 1-6. Neutral Record: UIC 2-1, MU 0-0. Conference Record: UIC 0-0, MU 0-0. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Illinois-Chicago Flames stay on the road this Saturday as they journey to Millett Hall for a non-conference tilt with the Miami-Ohio RedHawks.
UIC had its eight-game winning streak, which was its longest since 1997-98, snapped on Tuesday by a 70-54 setback at Western Illinois. The Flames got off to a red hot start to the season that included victories over Iona, Northwestern, and Colorado State. Prior to its loss to the Leathernecks, coach Howard Moore's squad held five of six opponents under 50 points. UIC is outscoring its opposition by an average of 10.6 ppg.
John Cooper's RedHawks are searching for answers after their 67-58 setback to Wright State dropped their record to 3-6 and extended their losing streak to four in a row. Miami is perfect in two games home this season and two of its losses came to the top tier NC State and Louisville programs. The RedHawks are averaging 76 ppg in wins but just 57 ppg in their losses.
Miami earned a 72-61 win in its only previous meeting with UIC, which took place on Nov. 21, 2006.
The Flames looked like a different team versus Western Illinois after halftime as the Leathernecks were able to convert 13-of-19 attempts from the floor while netting another 17 points from the charity stripe in the final 20 minutes of the contest. UIC shot just 36.2 percent fro the floor including a 4-of-15 clip from beyond the arc and was outscored by 10 points in the paint in the loss. Joey Miller came off the bench to tally a season-high 15 points and center Josh Crittle scored 14 points, but the rest of the starting five combined to go just 8-of-29 from the floor. Gary Talton (12.5 ppg), Daniel Barnes (12.1 ppg), and Hayden Humes (11.5 ppg) must all bounce back or UIC will end up wasting its impressive record.
Miami had a solid defensive effort on Wednesday as the Raiders shot just 34 percent from the field and committed 19 turnovers. Wright State managed to convert 30-of-38 attempts at the free throw line and build a 42-27 edge in the rebounding battle to pick up the decision. Allen Roberts paced the RedHawks with 16 points in 25 minutes off the bench and junior forward Jon Harris chipped in 10 points. Roberts is the team's only player scoring in double- figures with 12.2 ppg, but rookie guard Reggie Johnson and Harris are both posting just under 10 ppg. Harris has scored in double figures in four of his last five outings after doing so just once in his first four games of the season.
This is a winnable game for the hosts who may be able to keep the Flames from getting hot. Miami is going to need big efforts from Roberts and Johnson on the perimeter to end its losing slide as UIC is also an adept unit on the defensive end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Miami-Ohio 67, Illinois-Chicago 63
12/22 10:31:09 ET