UIC Flames (1-6)
|Tai Odiase, C||28||3-7||0-0||1-2||3||5||8||0||0||2||1||4||7|
|Dikembe Dixson, F||36||8-14||3-3||1-2||3||7||10||4||0||0||6||4||20|
|Najeal Young, F||6||0-2||0-0||0-0||0||3||3||0||0||1||1||0||0|
|Paris Burns, G||25||5-11||1-5||0-0||0||3||3||6||2||0||1||4||11|
|Dominique Matthews, G||15||5-7||2-3||6-6||0||0||0||2||1||0||0||5||18|
|Julian Torres, C||4||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Hassan Thomas, F||16||1-4||0-0||0-0||2||0||2||1||0||0||0||2||2|
|Jake Wiegand, F||10||1-1||0-0||1-2||1||0||1||0||0||0||2||0||3|
|Lance Whitaker, F||26||3-5||1-1||1-2||0||6||6||4||0||2||2||5||8|
|Gabe Snider, G||4||2-2||2-2||0-0||0||2||2||1||0||0||1||1||6|
|Markese McGuire, G||7||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Michael Kolawole, G||20||2-7||0-0||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||4|
|Drew Hackett, G||3||0-1||0-1||0-0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||0|
Illinois Fighting Illini (6-5)
|Michael Finke, F||27||5-10||2-4||2-4||1||4||5||1||0||1||1||1||14|
|Aaron Jordan, G||11||0-4||0-3||1-2||0||1||1||1||1||1||0||0||1|
|Jaylon Tate, G||14||1-3||0-0||0-0||0||3||3||4||0||0||1||3||2|
|Malcolm Hill, G||35||5-8||1-3||11-14||1||3||4||1||1||2||2||1||22|
|Kendrick Nunn, G||31||5-9||2-3||2-2||0||5||5||2||2||0||3||2||14|
|D.J. Williams, G||6||0-0||0-0||1-2||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||1|
|Jalen Coleman-Lands, G||27||4-6||4-6||3-5||0||1||1||0||0||1||1||3||15|
|Khalid Lews, G||25||2-6||0-1||4-6||1||1||2||8||0||0||1||3||8|
|Alex Austin, G||11||0-2||0-2||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0|
FINAL- Illinois 83 UIC 79
2.5- UIC drains a three pointer, within three points of the lead.
24.8- Khalid Lewis and Jalen Coleman-Lands both commit the fouls, not smart. UIC inbounds the ball and scores.
47.2- Malcolm Hill at the line for Illinois, makes both of them Illini up by 7.
1:55- Illinois holding on to a slim lead, hopefully they can pull it out or John Groce might be pulling out his hair. #Pun
4:10- Dikembe Dixson having a huge game for UIC, 20 points, 4 assists, and 10 rebounds.
4:17- Jalen Coleman-Lands comes up with a big three at a big time. Illini now have the lead, 66-65.
5:35- Malcolm Hill with the nice move down on the baseline, gets past UIC defenders and finishes for the reverse layup.
7:29- TIMEOUT on the court Illini up 61-60
9:33- Malcolm Hill at the line for two shows goes 1 for 2.
9:50- Illini nation is shocked, who would have ever though that UIC would be the team that is attacking the basket.
10:34- UIC takes the lead, Illinois has led the game for 21 minutes and the Flames have only had the lead for 6 minutes. Illinois starting to look like the team we have seen all year; come out strong and finish poorly.
11:53- Illinois starting to lose hold of the lead, UIC is within two. Much better play by both teams this half.
12:56- Chicago native and product of Simeon Career Academy, D.J. Williams checks back in for the Illini.
14:29- Jalen Coleman-Lands drains the three pointer for the Illini, back and forth between both teams to start the second half. Game is actually starting to get exciting.
15:34- Maverick Morgan finishes for the bucket, Illini follow up Morgans basket with a Hill FG to extend the lead to 10 points yet again.
17:04- Whitaker hits the floor hard after being fouled by Illinois Khalid Lews, UIC to inbound.
17:38- Lance Whitaker to the line for two shots, goes 1 for 2.
18:36- Lance Whitaker buries the three for the Flames, UIC closing in on the lead.
Start of 2nd Half
End of the 1st Half- Illinois leading 41-30 over the Flames of UIC.
1:00- Illini up by 10 with under a minute to play in the first half. Michael Finke leads Illinois with 14 and Dominique Matthews leads the Flames with 18.
3:00- Illinois finally got it together here, now have a lead of 10. Finke leads Illini in scoring with 14.
5:24- Michael Finke drains the three for the Illini, looking good so far. Illinois needs to find out a way to contain Matthews though, kid is playing like an MVP.
7:00- Maverick Morgan gets on the board, Morgan then fouls UIC's Matthews. Matthews makes both shots, now has 16 points in the game.
8:16- Khalid Lews gets his first bucket of the game for Illinois, Coleman-Lands leads Illinois with 7 points.
9:25- Malcolm Hill knocks down the three pointer, Illini out in front.
9:53- Jalen Coleman-Lands goes 1 for 2 from the charity stripe. Illini and Flames tied up at 17.
10:50- Illinois having a tough time this half trying to make your average layup. Not a very promising start for the Orange and Blue.
11:51- Kendrick Nunn makes the three pointer for the Illini, game tied. Matthews for UIC leads all scorers in the game.
12:41- Malcolm Hill with the nice fade away mid range jumper, Illini within three of UIC
13:14- Jalen Coleman-Lands buries the three, Illini within four points of the Flames.
14:50- Foul called on UIC's Lance Whitaker. Illini to inbound, Illinois needs to get something going not looking all to well for Groce's squad.
15:45- Dominique Matthews of UIC is playing real well early on. He has scored all of the points for UIC. Matthews is the brother of Kentucky Wildcats freshman Charles Matthews
17:23- Illinois is not looking all to well here early on, sloppy play on the offensive side. Turnover leads to a UIC basket.
18:16- Jaylon Tate scores the first FG of the game, slow start for both teams.
18:41- Aaron Jordan goes to the line for the Illini after the foul on UIC goes 1 for 2
18:49- UIC, Matthews called for the foul. Illinois to inbound.
19:23- Traveling violation called on Illini Kendrick Nunn
20:00- And we are off! Illinois - UIC is underway! Opening tip won by the Illini
20:00- Illinois vs UIC is just about underway, lineups have been called all thats left is the opening tip.
Eight of the 15 players on UIC’s roster are native to the state of Illinois, and seven of those Flames hail from the Chicagoland area. Seniors Paris Burns (Proviso East H.S.) and Gabe Snider (Whitney Young H.S.) are from Chicago, as is junior Josh Joiner (Willowbrook H.S.) and freshman Dominique Matthews (St. Rita H.S.). Sophomores Lance Whitaker (Bartlett H.S.) and Tai Odiase (Homewood-Flossmoor H.S.), plus freshman Julian Torres (Bolingbrook H.S.) call suburban Chicagoland home. Finally, freshman Dikembe Dixson is originally from Freeport, Ill., a town about 110 miles northwest of the Windy City. He completed his prep career in West Virginia.
This is a homecoming for many Illini, as more than half the UI roster features players from Chicagoland in Tracy Abrams, Alex Austin, Kendrick Nunn, Jaylon Tate and D.J. Williams (all from Chicago), along with Aaron Jordan (Plainfield), Mike LaTulip (Arlington Heights) and Cameron Liss (Northbrook).
UIC freshman Dominique Matthews is not the only member of his immediate family to wear a college basketball uniform this season. Brother, Charles Matthews, is a freshman for the Kentucky Wildcats. UIC’s Matthews led the Flames with a career-high 17 points against DePaul on Dec. 2. He shot 7-of-12 from the field and buried the first two three-pointers of his young career in a personal-best 24 minutes against the Blue Demons.
Junior Kendrick Nunn has performed at a high level over the last five games after missing the first five games with a thumb injury. Despite being out for six weeks, Nunn quickly worked his way back into playing shape and has logged more than 30 minutes in all five games, currently averaging 34.4 minutes. Nunn has scored in double figures in all five games – led by a career-high 28 points vs. Yale on Wednesday – good for an average of 21.0 points. He is shooting nearly 48 percent from the field and is connecting at a 45 percent clip from behind the arc, draining 18-of-40 threes.
In today's game, be on the look out for Malcolm Hill. Hill has played in 353 of a possible 400 minutes so far this season, ranking fifth in the Big Ten with an average of 35.3 mpg. His versatility is evident in the fact tha he ranks either first or second on the Illini in points (16.6 ppg), rebounds (5.4 rbg) assists 4.2 (apg), steals (15) and blocked shots (6).
Illinois head coach John Groce joked in a November press conference that he’s asking junior guard Malcolm Hill “to be the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker.” With Illini backcourt veterans sidelined early in the season, Groce has demanded a lot from Hill. He has played four different positions and guarded all five positions as an Illini.
The UIC Flames are off to a rough start this season and currently have a 1-5 record with their only win coming against NAIA opponent the Roosevelt Lakers. The last game for UIC ended in a loss to Central Florida. Freshman forward Dikembe Dixson had a career-high 22 points, but his 22 didn’t suffice for the Flames as they dropped this non-conference game, 88-58. The freshman had a huge second half after being held to only two points on 1-4 shooting from the field through 14 minutes of play in the first half. The second half however was a complete 180 - Dixson scored 20 points and racked up eight rebounds against the Knights of Central Florida. Central Florida scored 13 of the game’s first 14 points through the opening six minutes of play. Down by 12, the Flames kept fighting back and put together a 9-4 run that brought the deficit to seven points with under 11 minutes left in the first half. From that point on, the Knights came alive and finished the first half out in front by a score of 43-21. The Flames proved in the second half to be no match for UCF, as the Knights ran away with an 88-58 win.
The Illinois Fighting Illini come into this matchup with a 5-5 record following a win over Ivy League opponent Yale this past Wednesday. Kendrick Nunn led the Illini that game with 28 points, scoring 18 of his career high in the second half. Illinois Malcolm Hill added 20 points helping the Illini beat Yale by a final of 69-65. The first half of the game was totally controlled by Illinois as they took a 33-25 lead in the locker room, but the Bulldogs of Yale came back and started the second half on a 12-0 run early on and wound up taking a 37-35 lead. From that point on Yale wouldn’t be able to get anything going, though Makai Mason hit a jumper and scored on the easy layup to bring Yale within three with a little under two minutes left. The Bulldogs weren’t able to finish the job and ended up committing four turnovers and went 1-4 from the field to finish the game. The big play came with roughly 1:25 left in the game when Kendrick Nunn hit a three to put the Illini out in front by six points, followed by two shots from the charity stripe with two seconds left to give Illinois the victory.
Hello and Welcome to VAVEL USA’s LIVE Coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini vs UIC Flames in College Basketball. Tip-off for this game is at 2 PM ET, at which I, Christian Hansen, will bring you LIVE commentary from the game.