Flames fly past Panthers in OT

Tarkus Ferguson

Freshman Tarkus Ferguson scored a career-high 25 points, including 12 in the overtime period. (Photo: Steve Woltmann)

UIC needed all of the 105 points the team scored in a thrilling overtime victory Saturday at Milwaukee. The Flames led by as many as 13 points before knocking out the Panthers, 105-100, at UWM Panther Arena.

UIC (12-12, 4-6 Horizon League) had its best performance of the season from the field, shooting 61 percent. The Flames posted 42 points in the paint and another 45 from beyond the arc. The squad’s 15 three-pointers marked both a season high and the most in 54 games under head coach Steve McClain.

Several young UIC standouts turned in memorable efforts. Freshman Tarkus Ferguson scored a career-high 25 points, including 12 in the overtime period.

The teams needed an extra five minutes to decide the outcome after Milwaukee closed regulation on a 7-0 run in the final minute. A pair of free throws from UIC’s Michael Kolawole put the Flames ahead 85-78 with 46.1 seconds remaining. A three-pointer and four free throws helped even the score with about eight seconds remaining.

Ferguson scored UIC’s first seven points of the session to put the visitors on top, 92-87, less than 30 seconds into overtime.

The Flames led by two points with less than two minutes left in the game when Ferguson found Santos open on the perimeter and he drilled his fifth three-pointer of the night. After the Panthers scored, Matthews converted a three-point play with 49.6 seconds remaining to regain the five-point lead.

The Flames host Youngstown State at 7 p.m. Thursday at the UIC Pavilion.