Flames honor seniors in final home game of season

Dikembe Dixson

Dikembe Dixson led the Flames with 24 points Sunday. — Photo: Steve Woltmann

Two UIC seniors donned the home white uniform for the final time Sunday as the Flames played their final home game of the regular season.

The Flames honored Gabe Snider and Jake Wiegand during the game versus Oakland at the UIC Pavilion. The seniors joined the program in the 2012-13 season and have played in a combined 193 games in UIC uniforms.

The home slate is finished, but the regular season is not over. The Flames visit Green Bay Friday, then compete in the regular-season finale Sunday in Milwaukee.

UIC and Oakland engaged in a back-and-forth ballgame Sunday, but the Golden Grizzlies made enough plays down the stretch to outlast the Flames, 74-63.

The Flames fought ferociously on the defensive end and trimmed a nine-point deficit to one with 6:03 remaining on Senior Day. UIC’s Dikembe Dixson sparked an eight-point surge on the offensive end, a burst that was capped when Lane Whitaker drove the ball hard to the basket to score. The defense registered stops on 13 consecutive possessions by either forcing a turnover or an errant shot as it held Oakland completely scoreless for an impressive stretch of 5:48 during the second half.

Martez Walker ended the drought for the Golden Grizzlies, and two trips later, Nick Daniels connected on one of his four three-point baskets to extend the lead to six with 4:18 remaining on the clock. Dixson registered two of his game-high 24 points for the Flames to make it a four-point game with 3:55 to go, 66-62, but UIC could not come any closer as the offense sputtered before falling, 74-63.

The Flames thanked seniors Snider and Wiegand before the game, but it was three freshmen who lifted the squad on the offensive end. Dixson led all players with 24 points, and Michael Kolawole and Julian Torres netted 10 each.

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