Flames face No. 1 EMU in tourney semifinals Monday

Women's BBall vs. Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne

Sophomore Terri Bender leads the Horizon League with 2.8 steals per game. Photo: Timothy Nguyen/UIC News

The UIC women’s basketball team (23-9) will face Eastern Michigan (18-13) on the Eagles’ home court in Ypsilanti Monday for the quarterfinals of the 2014 Women’s Basketball Invitational.

UIC is the fourth seed in the East Region while the Eagles are the top seed. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at the EMU Convocation Center.

If the Flames defeat EMU, they will play the winner of the (6) Fairfield/(7) Maine contest in the semifinals Wednesday or Thursday.

UIC collected the first postseason victory in program history March 19 with an 84-71 win over No. 5 Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne in first-round action of the 2014 Women’s Basketball Invitational.

Down 41-33 in the first half after an 11-0 IPFW run, UIC responded with a 19-2 run to take control of the contest. The Flames outscored the Mastodons 49-30 in the second half and limited IPFW to 24.3 percent shooting after halftime.

Eastern Michigan started 11-1 before finishing the season with a 6-11 record. EMU fell 81-76 to Northern Illinois in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

UIC and EMU have seven common opponents in this year’s schedule: Butler, Cleveland State, Detroit, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Ohio and Miami. UIC went 9-1 against these opponents with the lone loss coming at Cleveland State (March 1). EMU went 6-4 with two losses to NIU, one to Miami and one at WMU.

UIC and Eastern Michigan have met 10 times; EMU owns an 8-2 series advantage. The Eagles have won four straight in the series, the most recent a 74-54 victory over the Flames in December 2010 in Ypsilanti.

Run by Sport Tours International, the Women’s Basketball Invitational is in its fifth season. The tournament provides a choice for postseason worthy Division I teams who wish to continue their season, but who do not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The 16-team event will take place over two weeks with all games being played on campus sites.

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