Rebels host Illinois-Chicago tonight at 7

Ole Miss hosts Illinois-Chicago tonight in Oxford, and the Rebels are hoping to get a win and some revenge. The Flames beat Ole Miss 87-75 in overtime last season in the Windy City, pulling away in the extra period and sending Ole Miss back south with a tough loss.

This year the Flames are 6-5 but have won four of their last five games. Their latest contest was an 86-80 win over Akron.

Their lone loss over the last five games was a close, hard-fought 71-66 loss to Illinois at The United Center in Chicago, where the NBA's Bulls play.

Former Illinois assistant coach Jimmy Collins heads up the UIC program, now in his 11th season as head coach. Collins is the program's winningest head coach with 168 victories and has guided the Flames to four postseason appearances, including three NCAA Tournaments (1998, 2002 and 2004).

The Flames returned four starters from last year's 16-15 squad. Among them is junior forward Othyus Jeffers, who leads UIC with 15.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Josh Mayo is once again averaging double-digits at 13.6 ppg, while senior forward Jovan Stefanov is adding 10.4 ppg.

After equaling his career best in points with 25 against Louisiana-Monroe, Ole Miss senior guard Bam Doyne set a new high with 28 in leading the Rebels to an 82-72 victory at South Alabama Saturday night. Ole Miss improved to an impressive 9-2 on the season.

Junior center Dwayne Curtis followed up his double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) against ULM with 16 and 9 in his first start of the year. The Rebels shot 52.6 percent against the Jags and finished with a 39-26 rebounding edge.

The Rebels currently rank fourth in the SEC in free throw percentage at 71.2. That figure is over 8 points better than last year's 63.0 percentage and would be the highest since firing at a 72.6 clip in 2002-03. The Ole Miss seniors are leading the charge with Doyne at 85.5, guard Todd Abernethy at 82.6 and guard Clarence Sanders at 80.8.

Doyne is among the SEC statistical leaders this season, ranking third in scoring (18.5), 11th in rebounding (6.6), second in free throw accuracy (85.5) and ninth in minutes played (32.18). The senior guard has topped the team or tied for the team-lead in scoring in six games.

Abernethy has raised his scoring average and assist total in each of his seasons as a Rebel, and this year, those figures are jumping again. He is averaging double-figure points for the first time and turned in the best offensive game of his career against Nicholls with 23 points, missing only two shots all night. Abernethy is the SEC leader in assist/turnover ratio (3.43) and ranks sixth in the SEC in assists (4.80 per game). He equaled his career-best assist total at South Alabama Saturday with 9 handouts.

Sanders has been a steady point provider for the Rebels this year, scoring in double-figures in nine of the last 10 games and ranking 12th in the SEC at 14.9 points per game. He is also eighth in the league in 3-point percentage (.397) and ninth in 3s per game (2.09). In the Louisiana-Lafayette win, the senior guard connected on 4-of-7 treys in leading the Rebels with 22 points. He followed up with a team-high 21 against Fairfield and turned in his fifth career 20-point outing with 20 against Nicholls. After posting a .357 shooting clip a year ago, Sanders boasts a .451 field goal percentage this season, which is 10th-best in the conference.

Tonight Ole Miss is making its sixth TV appearance of the season. The game is available on SportsSouth.

Admission into tonight's game is free for everyone.

*** Kyle Campbell from UM athletics media relations contributed to this story.

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