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Illinois-Chicago (5-23) at Milwaukee (16-12)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 25, 8 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: U.S. Cellular Arena (10,783), Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Television: None. Home Record: UIC 2-11, Milwaukee 6-5. Away Record: UIC 1-10, Milwaukee 7-6. Neutral Record: UIC 2-2, Milwaukee 3-1. Conference Record: UIC 0-14, Milwaukee 6-8. Series Record: Milwaukee leads, 39-23.

GAME NOTES: The Illinois-Chicago Flames have just two more chances to register their first win in Horizon League play this season, the first of those opportunities coming tonight against Milwaukee on the road at U.S. Cellular Arena.

Losers of 17 straight outings, the Flames have defeated another Division I foe just once since the start of December, taking out Southeast Missouri State (75-69) back on Dec. 4. UIC, which is set to close out the regular season against Wright State at home on Saturday, was defeated by Oakland last Friday night, 86-71, which means the program has now come up empty in all 14 league bouts.

Meanwhile, the Panthers have hit a dry spell of late, but nothing like that of UIC, bowing in three straight after winning three in a row. Over the weekend, Milwaukee was crushed by Cleveland State on the road, 74-50, dropping the team to 6-8 in conference.

The Panthers barely got by UIC in the first meeting of the season in the middle of January, posting a 67-63 victory on the road. With the victory, Milwaukee is now ahead in the all-time series by a mark of 39-23.

Except for Marc Brown who tallied 10 points, shooting 3-of-7 from the floor, the Flames didn't have any other starters who made more than just a single field goal in the loss to Oakland last week. Hayden Humes tried to give the squad a boost off the bench with his 16 points and five rebounds, converting 4-of-6 behind the 3-point line, but it just wasn't enough as UIC shot a collective 37.3 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 14 times on the night.

Through 28 games, Brown is one of two players scoring in double figures for the Flames with his 11.6 ppg, trailing only Kelsey Barlow who checks in with 14.6 ppg. Barlow, who has made a team-best 42 3-pointers but is only 30.4 percent accurate on the perimeter, is also tops on the unit with 115 assists and is one of the better rebounders with close to five per game.

Playing without the suspended Jordan Aaron and an injured Thierno Niang, the Panthers dug themselves a serious hole against Cleveland State and just could not get out. The visitors shot a feeble 31.9 percent from the field and finished with more turnovers (19) than field goals (15) in the 24-point road loss. Kyle Kelm emerged as the only player to score in double figures for the Panthers with his 13 points, thanks in large part to 7-of-10 shooting at the free-throw line.

Without Aaron, the Panthers clearly don't have an answer for where and how they are going to make up for the loss of 14.3 ppg. Just plugging in another starter isn't the fix for this group and they better hope they can get back on track in the next week or else the end of the season will be coming much sooner than expected. Matt Tiby (12.5 ppg), Kelm (12.4 ppg) and Austin Arians (11.2 ppg) all carry their weight along the front line, but Steve McWhorter (8.3 ppg, 3.8 apg) needs much more support.

Considering how close the first meeting of the season was between these teams, it is not out of the question to think the Flames could finally break through in conference play tonight.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Illinois-Chicago 66, Milwaukee 62

02/25 10:22:01 ET

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2nd
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KAN 1
 
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Half
TOR 38
NYK 46
 
2nd
MEM 27
MIA 30
 
2nd
CHI 48
MIN 48
 
2nd
HOU 36
SAN 29
 
9:00pm Tonight
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PHO
 
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Half
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SFLA 3
 
2nd
SALABAMA 10
TROY 3
 
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BSU
BYU
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CAL
OREG
2nd
NJD 1
DAL 1
 
1st Intermission
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VAN
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EDM
CAR
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