Flames fall to rival Loyola at home Saturday

UIC Flames men's basketball vs Loyola. 11 Paris Burns

Paris Burns scored a career-high 26 points, 24 in the first half. Photo: Timothy Nguyen


The UIC men’s basketball team (2-7) fell to city-rival Loyola (5-2) at home  Saturday afternoon, 77-67.

The Flames continue their four-game homestand Thursday as they welcome Central Florida (5-2).  Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Junior Paris Burns scored a career-high 26 points, including 24 in the second half, but Loyola’s Milton Doyle (19) and Christian Thomas (17) combined for 36 points to secure the non-league win.

Senior Jay Harris added 12 points on the day, his ninth double-digit effort in his last 10 collegiate games. Harris recorded five assists and four rebounds.

“We had trouble converting on the offensive end,” said head coach Howard Moore. “Many times throughout the game we had chances to score and just missed point-blank shots. I thought we did a decent job defensively in the first half, but we have yet to find that full 40 minutes of basketball this season.”

The Flames jumped out to a 5-0 lead at the start of the game, but Loyola answered with a 19-3 run to go ahead 19-8 by the 8:20 mark. UIC regrouped and scored 11 straight points to knot the score at 19-19 with 5:25 left in the first half.

The Ramblers executed in the final minutes of the first period, outscoring the Flames 8-2 and taking a 31-23 halftime lead.  Loyola shot 60 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes (12-of-20), while UIC converted 30 percent (10-of-30).

Loyola went up by 11 points (36-25) early in the second half after a Doyle three-pointer, but the Flames whittled their lead down to 40-35 after a dunk by junior Jake Wiegand at the 15:40 mark. UIC pulled to within five points roughly four minutes later, the closest UIC came to the Ramblers for the rest of the game.

Burns’ 24 second-half points was the most by a UIC player in the final period since Daniel Barnes poured in 25 against Detroit in 2013.  The Chicago native scored 14 of those 24 second-half points in the final 5:01 of the game.

UIC won the rebounding battle by a margin of 41-30 and grabbed a team-season high 22 offensive caroms. Wiegand paced UIC on the glass for the eighth time this year with a game-high nine rebounds, five of them offensive. The power forward added nine points and still leads the team in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (8.6).

Senior Ahman Fells received the start today and produced quality minutes with six points on 3-of-3 shooting.

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