Flames advance in postseason play

Videography by Jeffron Boynes

 

The men’s basketball team built a 22-point first-half lead and held off Chicago State’s second-half rally Wednesday to post an 80-69 win over the Cougars in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament at the Pavilion.

The Flames advance to the second round of the CIT, taking on Northern Iowa at 7 p.m. Saturday in Cedar Falls, Iowa. UIC holds an 11-10 all-time series advantage over Northern Iowa.

The game will be webcast online at CollegeInsider.com.

UIC improved to 18-15 on the season and collected its first postseason win. Chicago State ended its season with an 11-22 record.

Senior guard Daniel Barnes scored a game-high 22 points and career-best 10 rebounds. Senior center Josh Crittle added 17 points and pulled down nine boards. Junior forward Hayden Humes scored 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting, and senior point guard Gary Talton chipped in 12 points and eight assists.

“It was a hard-fought game with a lot at stake,” head coach Howard Moore said. “I’m proud of how my guys battled in the second half, because we knew there was going to be a surge. Their elevated defensive intensity got us rattled a little bit, but we got ourselves together when it mattered and made free throws down the stretch.

“It’s definitely nice to make history and win our first-ever postseason game, but it’s also nice to enjoy a win after the gut-wrenching loss we had in our last game against Green Bay. Our guys are enjoying playing together, and are ready to extend this season as long as they can.”

UIC led 46-30 at halftime, building a game-high 22-point (44-22) lead with 2:49 remaining.

Chicago State opened the second half on an 11-3 run, pulling within 49-41 with 15:07 remaining. During the spurt, both teams were whistled for technical fouls after a short altercation. Crittle was relegated to the bench after picking up his third personal foul.

The Cougars responded with an 18-10 run, tying the score at 59 with 7:30 left. Leading scorer Quinton Pippen gave CSU a 61-59 lead at the 7:00 mark, but UIC scored the next nine points, opening a 68-61 advantage with 3:45 remaining. The Cougars fought back within four (70-66) with 3:00 on the clock, but the Flames pulled ahead for the win.