Illinois-Chicago (6-13) at Wright State (9-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 25th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Nutter Center (10,449) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: UIC 6-4, Wright St. 6-5. Away Record: UIC 0-9, Wright St. 3-6. Neutral Record: UIC 0-0, Wright St. 0-1. Conference Record: UIC 2-7, Wright St. 4-5. Series Record: Wright State leads, 22-21.
GAME NOTES: Two underachieving Horizon League squads face off in Dayton tonight, as the Wright State Raiders take on the Illinois-Chicago Flames.
UIC has not been in sync all season long, having yet to string together back- to-back wins. The Flames are currently losers of five of their last six, with their latest defeat coming to Valparaiso last Saturday, 60-55.
Wright State seemed to have gotten things together after a four-game win streak in late December following a 4-8 start. The Raiders have faltered since that run however, losing four of their last five, including a 69-53 defeat to Detroit on Saturday.
Wright State holds a slim lead in the all-time series with UIC, 22-21. The Raiders broke a tie back on New Year's Eve, 74-70, in overtime behind a 21- point effort by Julius Mays and they have now won 10 of the last 11 meetings overall.
UIC has one of the worst offenses in the Horizon League (61 ppg) and showed why in the loss to Valparaiso, as the Flames shot just 40.8 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from the foul line. Gary Talton led three UIC players in double figures with 12 points, but he did so by shooting just 5-of-15 from the floor. Talton is no stranger to shooting woes, as he connects on just 37.9 percent of his field goal attempts and 29.4 percent of his three-point tries, despite being second on the team in scoring (10.8 ppg). Daniel Barnes leads the Flames with 11.1 ppg, but he also has his struggles from the floor (.355), though he does connect on 2.3 three-pointers per game. Though UIC has one of the worst ranked offenses and defenses in the HL, it is a strong rebounding squad, ranking third in the conference in rebounding margin (plus-2.2 rpg).
Wright State is one of the two teams in the Horizon League with a worse scoring offense than UIC, netting a mere 58.3 ppg. The Raiders' offensive woes continued in the recent loss to Detroit, as they drained just 40.8 percent of their total shots and 50 percent of their free throws. Cole Darling was the only Raider to register double figures with 10 points, up from his season average of 5.6 ppg, but did so on just 4-of-13 shooting. Julius Mays is Wright State's only player averaging double digits in the scoring column for the season, as he tallies 13.4 ppg. Mays is also one of the most potent three- point shooters in the conference, ranking fourth in field goal percentage from beyond the arc (.426). Wright State is one of the league's worst rebounding teams, as it doesn't have a player averaging more than four caroms per contest and gets outrebounded by an average of 3.2 rpg, the second-worst margin in the league.
Neither team is playing well enough right now to have much confidence, but UIC has yet to notch a road win this season, giving Wright State the edge by default.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wright State 62, Loyola-Chicago 57
01/25 10:39:34 ET