The Flames are on the court for early warm-ups.
The Flames are red hot and they look to continue to burn the competition here at the UIC Pavilion on the West Side tonight. But winning their fourth in-a-row will not be easy. The Cleveland State Vikings have defeated UIC in their last seven trips here to the pavilion.
The good thing is the Flames have the advantage and momentum heading into tonight’s contest. While the Flames have been on the winning track, CSU has lost four consecutive games. Currently the 14-8 Flames are in a three way tie for third place in the Horizon League along with Wright State, and Youngstown State with a conference record of 5-4.
CSU is second to last place with an HL record of 2-6 and are just 10-12 overall. The Flames barely managed to pull of the victory against Wisconsin-Green Bay on Thursday night. Six points in the final minute from UIC center Josh Crittle pushed the Flames past the Phoenix for the 60-57 victory.
Crittle has been a dominant force in the paint for UIC. Even when the Flames lose, Crittle is always battling and leading his team. Of course the fire that keeps this Flames team going is the backcourt combination of Seniors Gary Talton and Daniel Barnes. Talton averages 13 points-per-game while Barnes averages 10 per game.
This week the Flames are one player short and will probably stay that way for the rest of the season. According to the UIC Athletic Department, Freshman center Matt Gorski was dismissed from the team for “A violation of team rules”. When I asked the team about what violation was committed, they refused to elaborate any further.
Another player that has kept UIC competitive recently is Junior forward Hayden Humes. The 6’8″ Valparaiso native has scored 45 points and grabbed 25 rebounds in his last five games combined.
The Flames will need everything they have in their arsenal to keep their winning streak going. Especially since the Vikings have given them fits in the past. Tonight the Flames have the chance to inch themselves closer to the top of the Horizon League.
It will be a fun game to watch. You can follow me during the game on Twitter @GabeSalgado82 #Q101Sports