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Illinois-Chicago (6-24) at Valparaiso (17-14)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 4, 8:05 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) -- Valparaiso, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: Illinois-Chicago 2-12, Valpo 11-5. Away Record: Illinois-Chicago 2-10, Valpo 5-9. Neutral Record: Illinois- Chicago 2-2, Valpo 1-0. Conference Record: Illinois-Chicago 1-15, Valpo 9-7. Series Record: Illinois-Chicago leads, 29-19.

GAME NOTES: The third and final first-round matchup in the Horizon League Conference Tournament will feature the ninth-seeded Illinois-Chicago Flames traveling to face the defending Horizon League champion and fourth-seeded Valparaiso Crusaders at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

The winner of this game will take on either Milwaukee or Detroit in second- round action on Friday.

Illinois-Chicago had a season the team would probably like to forget. The Flames finished the year 6-24 overall, with a 1-15 mark in conference play. UIC dropped its regular-season finale, 68-61, to Wright State on Saturday, and will have to face Valpo for the third time this season.

Valparaiso completed the regular-season sweep of Illinois-Chicago, and will try for its third straight win over the Flames. The Crusaders finished the season at 17-14 overall with a 9-7 record in conference play. Valpo lost its last two games of the regular season, including a 63-52 defeat at the hands of Cleveland State Saturday.

Illinois-Chicago holds the lead in the all-time series with Valpo, 29-19. The last time these teams met on the court was on Feb. 1, which resulted in a 70-46 drubbing by the Crusaders that capped the season sweep.

UIC put up quite the fight in the team's final regular season matchup against the conference's third seed in Wright State. The Flames actually held a one- point halftime lead before the Raiders kicked it into high gear and motored past UIC in the second frame. Kelsey Barlow led Illinois-Chicago with 16 points, adding four rebounds and a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line to his game resume. Jordan Harks chipped in 13 points and Pat Birt added another 12 in the loss.

Barlow provided a spark for the Flames with a 14.9 ppg average and 120 assists to pace the team. Marc Brown was the only other member of the Flames to average a double-digit point total, netting 11.1 ppg. Harks led the team in rebounding this season with a 5.5 rpg average, and led the team with 11 blocked shots. UIC is averaging 66.9 ppg on the year, but is giving up 72.5 ppg to its opponents.

Valparaiso fell to Cleveland State on Saturday on the Crusaders' Senior Day. Valpo trailed by just three points at the end of the first half, but fell further behind in the second frame as the Vikings held them to just 21 points in the period. LaVonte Dority scored a team-high 13 points in the contest, connecting on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor. Moussa Gueye grabbed six rebounds, and the Crusaders as a team shot 44.2 percent from the field.

Dority finished as the Crusaders' top scorer this season and fifth in the conference with 16.2 ppg, adding a team second-best 75 assists to his resume. Alec Peters was the only other Valpo member to average a double-digit scoring total at 12 ppg. Gueye and Vashil Fernandez each had a 5.1 rpg average to lead the team. The defending champion Crusaders averaged 72.7 ppg as a unit, and gave up 67.4 ppg to opponents.

It's no secret how Illinois-Chicago struggled this season, winning two of the team's six games against lesser-division opponents. Barlow and Dority battling it out could serve as an interesting one-on-one matchup, but the supporting case around Dority trumps the Flames' role players. At home, the Crusaders should have no issues moving on to the second round in an attempt to defend their 2013 title.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Valparaiso 75, Illinois-Chicago 59

03/04 10:35:51 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
2nd Intermission
CAR 1
MIN 1
 
4th
CHA 77
TOR 71
 
Final
STL 5
HOU 2
 
Final
BOS 3
MIA 5
 
Final
TAM 2
MIN 1
 
Final
PHI 1
NYY 4
 
Final
ATL 8
WAS 9
 
Final
TOR 5
BAL 4
 
Final
NYM 5
DET 4
Final
SDP 5
CWS 0
 
Final
CHC 2
CIN 5
 
Final
CLE 9
KAN 11
 
Final
MIL 1
LOS 10
 
Final
TEX 3
SFG 12
 
Final
LOS 7
SEA 4
 
Final
ANA 3
COL 0
 
Final
ARI 2
OAK 7
 
5th
NYY 0
PIT 3
 
3rd
IND 61
CHI 59
 
3rd
WAS 86
MIA 60
 
3rd
ORL 90
SAC 77
 
4th
CHA 77
TOR 71
 
3rd
PHI 52
UTA 54
 
Half
ATL 53
CLE 43
 
2nd
NOP 29
BOS 38
 
2nd
HOU 32
DET 27
 
2nd
MEM 28
LAL 23
 
2nd
BRK 21
PHO 21
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DAL
Final
MVSU 75
ARKPB 94
 
Final
CSOU 60
LONG 68
 
Final
WICHS 56
SILL 45
Final
RAD 66
WINT 67
 
Final
ILLST 71
EVAN 67
Final
HIGH 71
GWEBB 72
 
Final
UNCG 81
SAMF 76
 
Final
ELON 74
TOWS 69
 
2nd
KSU 61
AKR 59
 
2nd
BUF 51
BGU 52
 
2nd
DART 52
BRO 61
 
2nd
WMICH 53
CMICH 44
 
2nd
PENN 38
CLMB 30
 
2nd
PRIN 57
CORN 50
 
2nd
OU 56
ILLCH 57
 
2nd
OHIO 87
UMO 63
 
2nd
BST 38
NILL 38
 
2nd
EMICH 62
TOL 46
 
2nd
NIOWA 61
BRAD 39
 
Half
MURST 43
MORE 32
 
8:00pm Tonight
CCAR
UNCA
 
1st
HARV 15
YALE 17
 
8:30pm Tonight
DREX
COC
1st
CITA 5
FUR 6
 
9:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
9:00pm Tonight
BAY
TTU
9:30pm Tonight
EKENT
BEL
9:30pm Tonight
CLST
DET
9:35pm Tonight
INDST
LOYC
11:30pm Tonight
SCU
LMU
2nd
NJD 1
CLB 3
 
2nd Intermission
CAR 1
MIN 1
 
2nd
OTT 1
BUF 2
 
2nd
DET 2
CAL 1
 
1st
CHI 0
EDM 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT