Flames improve to 3-0, cruise past Valpo 66-50

Teyvion Kirk registered a double-double with 14 points and 14 assists. Photo: Steve Woltmann

By Dan Wallace

UIC (3-0) registered its third consecutive win on the young season by knocking off Valparaiso (0-2), 66-50. The triumph helped the Flames improve to 3-0 on a season for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign. That squad would go on to play in the NCAA Tournament.

Four Flames netted double figures Tuesday night, but newcomer Teyvion Kirk flashed in every area of the game. The Joliet native scored a game-high 14 points to go along with 14 assists, eight rebounds and a steal in 34 minutes. Kirk’s 14 helpers are the most since Martell Bailey collected 15 on Nov. 23, 2003.

Braelen Bridges added 12 points in his first start of the year while Brian Taylor matched a career high with 11. RayQuawndis Mitchell, the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week chipped in 10 points as well.

The Flames held the Crusaders to just 30% shooting from the field and a 1-for-14 effort from the 3-point line. The 7.1 3-point field goal percentage is the lowest opposing 3-point field goal percentage since the Flames held Detroit Mercy to 1-for-16 (6.3%) shooting from distance on Jan. 12, 2012.

UIC looks for its first 4-0 start since the 1990-91 squad, led by Bob Hallberg, began the year 7-0 on Saturday as the Flames travel to take on Ball State. Tipoff is schedule for 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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