Flames win at home with double-doubles

UIC Flames men's basketball vs St. Xavier at UIC Pavilion. 22 Jay Harris

Jay Harris racked up his third straight double-digit scoring performance. Photo: Timothy Nguyen

 

The UIC men’s basketball team (2-4) improved to 2-0 at home this season with a convincing 87-76 win Tuesday night against Saint Xavier (3-3) at the UIC Pavilion.

The Flames return to the court Saturday at Dayton with tipoff scheduled for 1 p.m. The non-league tilt will be televised live on FOX Sports Ohio with audio on ESPN 1000.

The Flames never trailed in Tuesday’s contest as junior Jake Wiegand paced UIC with game-highs of 20 points and 12 rebounds. Fifth-year transfer Jay Harris chipped in 16 points, while freshman Tai Odiase recorded his first collegiate double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.

“I am always happy to get a win at home, but we are still a work in progress,” said head coach Howard Moore. “I thought Jake and Tai played great tonight. As a coach you love to see two double-doubles from your big men. Our guards need to defend a little better on the perimeter and exercise more poise down the stretch.”

Wiegand notched his third 20-point effort of the season and third double-digit rebounding performance. The junior is averaging a team-best 17.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

Odiase added four blocks to his stat line to inflate his season total to 14, the highest six-game total to start the year for a UIC player since Scott VanderMeer in 2008-09.  Odiase’s 11 points, 10 rebounds and four field goals are new career-bests.

Harris racked up his third straight double-digit scoring performance as a Flame and his seventh straight overall counting his final four games at Wagner. He shot 4-of-6 from three-point range to lead UIC from downtown and dished out a team-best three assists.

Junior Gabe Snider was lethal from the outside as he went 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Snider sank all three triples in the first half, improving his career three-point shooting percentage to 39 percent.

The Flames received scoring from nine separate players tonight as all five tallied five points or more. UIC shot a season-high 42.9 percent from three-point land, including 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) in the first half.

Redshirt freshman Lance Whitaker tallied a career-high with seven points in his sixth collegiate game, while sophomore Markese McGuire was one shy of his career-best with eight points. Junior D’Juan Miller grabbed a season-high five rebounds and chipped in six points, including a buzzer-beating trey to close out the half.

The Flames grabbed a season-high 18 offensive rebounds to score 27 second-chance points.  Odiase led the way with seven offensive boards, while Wiegand added five.

 

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