Battle of Chicago slated as Flames return to DeKalb

By Wes Swietek

Huskie coach Jim Molinari has billed this weeks’ basketball action as “the battle of Chicago”.

The University of Illinois-Chicago Flames come into Chick Evans Field House tonight at 7:00 to take on the 12-9 Huskies. DePaul, another visitor from Chicago, battled in the fieldhouse Thursday night in a women’s contest.

NIU and UIC’s first scheduled game on Jan. 25 was cancelled because of a snowstorm that hit DeKalb. The Flames leading scorer, Chris Harris, was questionable for the first game because of an injury but has since returned to UIC’s line-up.

Coach Bob Halberg’s squad has built a 14-8 record, including 4-5 in the AMCU Conference. UIC has some impressive wins on its slate, including a 76-75 victory over Iowa State and a 65-57 win over the Big Ten’s Michigan State team. The Flames are coming off of a 77-65 conference victory over Eastern Illinois in their last outing.

“They had a great win against Eastern and this game will be a real challenge,” said Molinari. “They’re a very athletic team and there should be a lot of running and dunking. We’re going to play our game and control the tempo.”

Molinari would like to see the same sort of crowd turnout for tonight’s game as there was for Thursday’s NIU women’s game.

“We’re at the “Dog House” and this is the battle of Chicago. We need that same kind of enthusiasm.”

Along with Harris, the Flames are led by Chicago products Corwin Hunt, Brian Hill and Tracy Dildy. Dildy is leading the Flames with 46 steals. The “3-H Club” of Harris, Hunt and Hill account for 65 percent of the Flames scoring.

NIU counters with “The Chicago Express” of Donnell “D-Train” Thomas, Donald Whiteside, Stacy Arrington, Andrew Wells and Antwon Harmon. The Chicago products are the five leading scorers for NIU, led by Thomas’ 18.1 average.

In keeping with the Windy City theme of this week’s basketball action, Chicago’s own Jesse White Tumblers will provide the half-time entertainment for tonight’s game.

The game is also featured as the “AMCU TV Game of the Week”. The match will be shown on a tape-delay basis, Saturday at 9:00 P.M. on SportsChannel.