Illinois-Chicago Flames vs. Oregon St. Beavers
The Illinois-Chicago Flames travel to the great Northwest for a date with the Oregon State Beavers. The Flames snapped a three game slide with a 62-55 win over Northern Illinois on Saturday while the Beavers fell to Idaho by a 74-60 count. The Beavers are -17 point favorites over the Flames.
Illinois-Chicago might be at a pivotal juncture to their season as the Flames have started their Horizon League schedule at 0-2 and have built a 3-5 record on only the #297 strength of schedule which is not a good sign going forward. Scoring is the main problem with under 66 points which puts a lot of strain on their defense. The offense stumbled once again against Northern Illinois but the defense came to the rescue to grab a win in a game that could have gone either way. The Flames shot an anemic 39.8% from the floor but oddly had a solid perimeter game going with an 8 of 18 fro long range. Although Illinois-Chicago had forged advantages throughout the box score, the Huskies 36.4% performance from the field was the biggest factor. The Flames grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and managed five more shot opportunities to keep NIU at bay. Illinois-Chicago had a trio of DD scorers with Marc Brown tossing in a game high 15 points while Daniel Barnes and Gary Talton contributed 12 and eleven points respectively.
Oregon State was riding a high scoring offense to wins early in the year but the nearly 78 point average has been eroding in their past four games with the highest scoring output in the last four contests being 71 points. The low point came Friday against Idaho with a team effort of 33.3% from the field which made keeping up with the Vandals 50% marksmanship a tall order. Most of the Beavers woes came from a failed attempt to establish a three ball game but OSU was only 3 of 23 from behind the line while the Vandals were ten of 18. Oregon State tried to stay close with 18 forced turnovers and 16 offensive rebounds but not being able to make shots turned 12 extra opportunities in to minimum success on the scoreboard. Roberto Nelson paced the OSU attack with 16 points and six rebounds with Joe Burton right behind him with 15 points and eight pulls with three others adding between seven and nine points.
I have little doubt that Oregon State is the better team with their scoring tailing off a bit as of late but the Beavers still have enormous scoring potential. Illinois-Chicago simply doesn’t have a chance if Oregon State jumps out to a big lead because they don’t score. This could be a huge blowout if the Flames don’t control the score but with the Beavers scoring down I’ll take the points.
Illinois-Chicago Flames +17 Oregon St. Beavers