Flames play first-round Horizon game Tuesday at Pavilion
The UIC men’s basketball team (8-23, 4-12 HL) will play a first-round home game for the 2015 Horizon League Tournament Tuesday against Wright State.
“To have a home tournament game is huge for us,” said UIC head coach Howard Moore. “We are excited to give our fans another game at the UIC Pavilion.”
Tickets for Tuesday’s game, which begins at 7 p.m., are free for UIC students with valid i-card. Two-for-one tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com with the promo code TMN241; for more information, call the athletics ticket office, 312-413-8421. Other Horizon League matches are set for Friday and Saturday with the finals March 10.
The Flames earned the tournament nod as No. 6 seed with a 61-46 regular season finale win against Wright State (11-19, 3-13 HL) Saturday at the UIC Pavilion.
Senior Marc Brown, who poured in a game-high 18 points, needs just 14 more to reach 1,000 for his career.
“I was extremely proud of our defense today,” said head coach Howard Moore. “We played tremendously on the defensive end with active hands, steals, deflections and we turned that action into positive plays for us. We did not shoot the ball very well, but I thought we were patient in our offense and worked the ball on the inside.”
The Flames’ defense held Wright State to 46 points, UIC’s lowest Horizon League opponent total since 2003 and the second-lowest total in the conference this season. UIC forced 15 Raider turnovers and held WSU to less than 35 percent shooting from the field.
Today’s victory, the Flames’ first regular season finale win since the 2008-09 campaign, gives UIC four conference wins for the second time in six seasons.
UIC used a 12-0 run midway through the first half to claim an 18-10 lead and never trailed for the remainder of the contest. Eight different UIC players scored in the first period as the Flames owned a 24-18 edge at the break.
The Raiders pulled within one (28-27) of UIC with 16:11 to play after junior J.T. Yoho nailed a three-pointer from the left wing. At the 10:47 mark, the Flames executed a 9-0 run to go in front by double digits (46-33) and stayed ahead of WSU by 11 or more for the rest of the game.
UIC shot 20-of-22 from the foul line in the second half and 24-of-27 overall. Harris was a perfect 12-of-12 from the charity stripe as he now owns 146 made free throws this season, which ties him for second on UIC’s all-time single season leaderboard. He needs six more to take the top spot held by Bobby Locke (1986-87).
Senior Jay Harris added 12 points and tied a career-high with eight assists. Freshman Tai Odiase made his first start since Dec. 22 and recorded six points, four rebounds and two blocked shots. Junior Jason McClellan had two blocks with seven points. Senior Ahman Fells tied career-highs of 11 rebounds and four steals and added five points.