It’s a non-conference matchup in college hoops coming to you from the Windy City. The Saint Joseph’s Hawks are on the road as they battle the UIC Flames Monday night. Saint Joseph’s opened their 2016-17 season with a 98-87 road loss at Toledo Saturday night. UIC opened their 2017-18 schedule with a 65-55 home win over North Carolina Central Friday night. This marks the first time that the teams have met on the hardwood.
Saint Joseph’s Hawks Look to Even Record
Saint Joseph’s had a good offensive showing in the opener but they struggled on the defensive end of the floor. The Hawks are going to have be better than that if they hope to even their mark with a victory here. Saint Joseph’s trailed by nine at the half and their offensive outburst in the second half merely left them outscored 53-51 after intermission to go down in defeat. The Hawks shot 45.7 percent from the field and knocked down 12 of 26 from beyond the arc though they were just 11 of 20 at the charity stripe. Saint Joseph’s allowed Toledo to shoot 53.6 percent overall, 14 of 25 from three point range, and saw the Rockets win the rebounding battle 43-31.
Shavar Newkirk led the Hawks with 21 points and three steals in a losing effort. Taylor Funk contributed 16 points and six rebounds off the bench, James Demery added 16 of his own and LaMarr Kimble had 10 points in the loss. Kimble reinjured the fifth metatarsal on his foot, an injury that sidelined him last season. He was scheduled to undergo testing today and his status for the future is up in the air though he’s almost certainly out for this contest.
UIC Flames Seek 2-0 Start
UIC built off their momentum from a run to the CBI semifinals last season by winning their season opener with a good defensive showing. The Flames look to build off that and start the season 2-0. UIC jumped to a nine point lead at the half and traded buckets in the second half to take the win over the Eagleshe. T Flames shot just 41.1 percent from the floor and hit only 6 of 22 three point attempts but managed to get the win. UIC forced 22 North Carolina Central turnovers, which helped offset their poor shooting. Free throw shooting proved useful as UIC sank 13 of 18 attempts to North Carolina’s four of six in the game.
Godwin Boahen led the Flames with 15 points in 26 minutes off the bench. Tarkus Ferguson contributed 13 points, three assists and three steals while Tai Odiase put up 10 points while collecting a team high eight boards in the contest. Dikembe Dixson added nine points while two others each had seven in the contest.
- Hawks are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss
- Flames are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- Flames are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record
The Kimble injury is going to be a litmus test for Saint Joseph’s. The Hawks are not a deep team to begin with (they played only eight players against Toledo in a game that was a track meet) and if Kimble is out for any length of time, it takes a guy who was a starter out of the mix. Fortunately for Saint Joseph’s, they won’t be in an up and down game here as the Flames are a more methodical team. Still, UIC is at home, is coming off a win and got good bench production in their opener. The Flames get the upper hand in this contest as they improve to 2-0 on the season.