Categories:  Flames Athletics

Men’s basketball starts season with win

 

The men’s basketball team picked up an exhibition victory Thursday night against Beloit College by a final score of 70-54 at the UIC Pavilion.

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Marc Brown led the Flames in scoring. Photo: Timothy Nguyen

The Flames were led in scoring by senior Marc Brown with 16 points, while junior Jake Wiegand collected a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

“It always feels good to win in front of your home crowd,” said head coach Howard Moore. “Our intensity was not where it needed to be to start the game, but we got a huge boost from our guys off the bench.”

One of those off-the-bench players was freshman Tai Odiase, who finished the night with eight points and seven blocked shots. The last UIC player to swat seven or more shots was 7-foot-1 center Scott VanderMeer in 2009.  Odiase was 4-of-6 from the field in 23 minutes of play.

The Flames struggled to contain Beloit junior Steve McAfee, who scored a game-high 30 points, including six three-pointers.  Overall, the Buccaneers were held in check as they shot a mere 31.7 percent from the field.

UIC received solid contributions from its three point guards, Paris Burns, D’Juan Miller and Jay Parker. Burns put up nine points and grabbed seven boards, while Miller tallied eight points on 4-of-6 shooting. Parker led the squad with five assists and added four points in 19 minutes.

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Tai Odiase came off the bench to fire up the Flames. Photo: Joseph Horejs

Points in the paint favored UIC by a margin of 46-16 as the Flames out-rebounded Beloit, 48-38. Wiegand corralled a game-high six offensive caroms, while senior Ahman Fells added four.

“This was a great game for us,” said Moore. “Beloit is a solid fundamental team and they gave us plenty of teaching moments.”

UIC begins regular season play Nov. 14 at DePaul with tipoff scheduled for 9 p.m.