UIC is having a killer season so far. Coming off of a near-upset of New Mexico and a defensive masterpiece of a win over Mercer, the Flames on Monday rallied from a 12-point deficit with under seven minutes to play to knock out Iona, 86-81, and snag fourth-place in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands. After back-to-back single-digit-win seasons under Howard Moore, they finally seem to be coming into their own.
If the above video doesn’t provide enough perspective into how Moore (finally) seems to be changing the UIC culture, I have some numbers for you that might.
2,830 days separate Tuesday’s 86-81 UIC win and Feb. 19, 2005, the last time UIC won a game in which their opponent scored more than 80 points in regulation. That time it was Georgia Southern, and the Flames won, 92-83.
79 percent was Ken Pomeroy’s projection for Monday, in the Gaels’ favor.
50 wins over the last two seasons for Iona. No Scott Machado anymore, I know, but still loaded for a mid-major. Iona was picked third and received a first-place vote in the this year’s MAAC preseason poll.
41.7 percent of UIC’s offense has come from beyond the arc. That figure ranks sixth nationally.
29 teams in the nation have a more efficient defense than UIC, which is holding opponents to 0.802 points per possession.
17 possessions separate UIC’s slow and methodical 59-possession wins over both UC-Riverside and Mercer and Monday’s way up-tempo 76-possession throw-down with Iona. The Flames play their best basketball slow, but their defense holds up under speed and pressure.
12 three-pointers from junior wing Hayden Humes have been knocked down on 19 attempts, including 4-5 on Tuesday. That’s 63.2 percent.
5.2 assists to turnover ratio for senior point guard Gary Talton (21 assists/4 turnovers) — 34th nationally.