Women pile up wins for best start since ’81

UIC Flames women's basketball vs SIU-Edwardsville at UIC Pavilion

Terri Bender (shown here against SIU-Edwardsville) scored a career-high 25-points on the road against Eastern Illinois Sunday. Photo: Timothy Nguyen

 

The UIC women’s basketball team (7-1) is off to its best start in the Division I era after a 78-66 road win at Eastern Illinois (3-7) Sunday.

The 2014 WBI Champions have won 11 of their last 12 contests dating back to last season.

UIC quickly returns home to host Chicago State (1-7) Tuesday. The Flames and Cougars have not met since 2007 when UIC collected a 75-60 road win.

The Flames used a 22-0 run early in the second half on their way to a fourth straight win. UIC set season highs in points, field-goal percentage (.500), three-pointers made (7) and steals (18). The Flames forced 24 EIU turnovers and scored 33 points off the Panthers’ miscues.

Junior Terri Bender scored a career-high 25 points for her third consecutive 20-plus point performance. She had 21 points and drained 7-of-8 free throws in the second half. She has scored 20 or more points four times over her last five contests.

Bender, who ranks fourth nationally in steals, picked up six steals and has at least five steals on five occasions this season.

Redshirt junior Ruvanna Campbell had 18 points and 10 rebounds for her second straight double-double. She has six double-doubles this season and 32 in her UIC career. Campbell, who ranks third nationally in rebounds, picked up four steals.

Redshirt sophomore Kendyl Nunn scored 16 points off the bench on 6-of-7 shooting for her first double-digit effort in a UIC uniform. Senior Gisselle Truiett collected four steals in 27 minutes of action.

Sophomore Melita Emanuel-Carr sank 3-of-4 attempts from beyond the arc to finish with nine points. Bender and Nunn each drained two three-pointers, giving UIC a season-high 7-of-17 from downtown.

UIC jumped out to a 5-0 advantage but EIU rallied to take a 12-8 lead with 13:16 on the clock. The rest of the first half featured eight ties before Sabina Oroszova’s free throws gave the Panthers a 31-29 lead at halftime.

Shakita Cox drained a three-pointer to give EIU a 34-29 lead out of halftime but UIC responded with its game-changing run. UIC scored the next 22 points, capped by Bender’s jumper at 13:56 to give UIC a 51-34 lead. The Flames’ largest lead came at 74-49 with 5:38 left in the contest.

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