Women’s squad 6-0 at home with latest win
The UIC women’s basketball team (8-1) won its fifth straight game Tuesday night with a 70-44 home victory over Chicago State (1-8).
The Flames head to the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic this weekend, where they open play against Mississippi State (11-0) Dec. 20 and take on Old Dominion (5-3) the next day.
UIC, 6-0 at home this season, has outscored opponents by an average of 18.2 points in Chicago. The Flames have won 12 consecutive home contests overall as UIC finished the 2013-14 season with six straight home victories. UIC is outscoring its last 12 home opponents by an average of 17.3 points per game.
UIC is off to its best nine-game start in the Division I era (1981-present). The 2014 WBI Champions have won 12 of their last 13 contests dating back to last season.
In Tuesday’s game, UIC held CSU to two field goals and 16 points in the second half. The Flames limited the Cougars to an opponent season-low 12-of-35 (.343) from the field. CSU became the seventh UIC opponent to shoot less than 40 percent.
“Similar to Sunday’s game at Eastern Illinois, we came out of the locker room with better defensive intensity,” said UIC head coach Regina Miller. “We converted defensive stops into efficient possessions and got Ruvanna more involved in the offense.
“We look to build off a solid second half performance and use this momentum in Las Vegas against two high quality opponents.”
UIC owned a huge 47-23 advantage on the boards. The Flames corralled 30 offensive rebounds, outscored CSU 36-12 in the paint and picked up 16 steals. The Flames forced a season-high 30 turnovers and scored 28 points off the Cougars’ miscues.
Redshirt junior Ruvanna Campbell tied her season-high of 26 points to go with 18 rebounds. Campbell’s third straight double-double was her seventh overall this season. She was 10-of-17 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. She had 18 points on 6-of-6 shooting in the second half.
Junior Terri Bender scored 11 points, dished out seven assists and tied her career high of seven steals. Bender, who ranks fourth nationally in steals per game, has picked up at least five steals on six occasions this season.
Sophomore Melita Emanuel-Carr played all 40 minutes and scored 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting from three-point land. She has drained eight out of her last 13 attempts (.615) from downtown.
UIC jumped out to a 12-6 lead before the Cougars responded with a 13-4 run. CSU took its biggest lead of the contest at 19-16 with 9:50 left before halftime. UIC outscored CSU 17-9 the remainder of the first half and took a 33-28 lead into the locker room.
Layne Murphy’s layup opened the second half and narrowed UIC’s lead to 33-30 but that was the closest the Cougars got to the Flames. UIC scored the next nine points and went on a 35-8 run over the next 16:22. The Flames’ largest lead was 68-38 with 2:57 left in the contest.
Miller graduated from Old Dominion and was an assistant coach for the Lady Monarchs from 1987-92. She later won 175 games over 10 seasons as head coach at UNLV.