Flames win semifinals, head to tourney championship

UIC vs Fairfield

Ruvana Campbell dominated the game against Fairfield. Photo: Timothy Nguyen/UIC News

The UIC women’s basketball team (25-9) will play for the Women’s Basketball Invitational Championship title Saturday after the Flames dominated No. 6 Fairfield with a 74-44 home victory Thursday in the 2014 WBI East Region semifinal.

The Flames will host the West Region’s fourth seed Stephen F. Austin Saturday at 3 p.m. at the UIC Pavilion.

UIC’s Ruvanna Campbell had 20 points in the first half and collected her 25th double-double of the season with 25 points and 17 rebounds. She nearly picked up her first career triple-double with a career-high nine assists. Katie Hannemann poured in 21 points while Rachel Story was in double figures with 13 points.

UIC never trailed and led by as many as 33 in the second half. The Flames shot 51 percent from the field (32-of-62) and held Fairfield to 33 percent shooting (19-of-57), including 23 percent (7-of-30) in the second half.

The contest will be head coach Regina Miller’s second postseason championship game appearance; she led UNLV to the 2004 WNIT title game.

“Our players had a lot of fun tonight,” Miller said. “Ruvanna dominated every aspect of the game and set the tone for us early on both ends of the floor.

“I am so proud of what our players have accomplished over the last three games and we are excited to play the WBI Championship Game in front of our fans on Saturday.”

Campbell was 12-of-16 from the field, including 10-of-12 in the first half, and collected a career-high five steals. In the WBI Tournament, she is averaging 25.0 points, 18.7 rebounds, 6 assists and 71.4 percent shooting from the field.

Hannemann was 9-of-16 from the field, including 5-of-6 in the second half for 12 points after halftime. The effort is her fifth 20-point performance this season and the 10th of her career. Her 1,094 career points are 14th in program history and 28 away from Krystal Hugelier (2003-06) for 13th place.

Story had 10 points in the first half on 4-of-8 shooting and drained 3-of-6 shots from beyond the arc. She has converted 40 percent of her triples over the last two games (6-of-15).

Story’s 1,050 career points are 17th in program history and she is 21 points away from 16th place.

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