Flames put up fight versus Valpo

Marc Brown

Marc Brown led UIC in scoring Tuesday with 16 points. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The ninth-seeded men’s basketball team (6-25) concluded its season Tuesday night with a 73-63 loss to No. 4 seed Valparaiso (18-14) in the opening round of the Horizon League Tournament.

Valpo led by as many as 15 points late in the first half, but the Flames kept scraping and pulled to within three with 6:29 left to play.

Less than a minute later, senior Kelsey Barlow was whistled for his fourth foul, then received a technical because of his reaction, forcing him to exit the contest.  With Barlow out of the game, the Crusaders outscored the Flames, 12-5, down the stretch as they advanced to the Horizon League quarterfinals to face No. 5 seed Milwaukee.

Junior Marc Brown paced UIC in scoring with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Senior Jordan Harks and Barlow chipped in 14 and 11, respectively.  Junior Jay Parker  reached double figures with 10.

“I’ve said this all season, but I am proud of our guys with how they never give up,” head coach Howard Moore said. “There have been plenty of moments where it would have been easy to stop fighting, but this team never did that and they didn’t stop fighting tonight.” 

Barlow finished his Flames career with 458 points, 121 assists and 31 steals, standing as the only Horizon League player to lead his team in all three categories.  The Indianapolis native also severs as the lone league player to average more than 14 points, five rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.

Harks had 11 of his 14 points in the second half and six straight for UIC during a two-minute stretch late in the second period.  Harks ended the season with a field goal shooting mark of 60.5 percent, which ranks second among all conference players and now sits third all-time on UIC’s single-season leaderboard.  Harks also led the team in rebounding with an average of 5.6 caroms per outing.

Senior Hayden Humes recorded his 127th three-pointer Tuesday, ranking 10th all-time on UIC’s career leaderboard.  Humes recorded 970 points during his four-year career and grabbed 604 rebounds.  He also helped guide UIC to its first-ever postseason victory last year in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

“I’d like to thank our three seniors for their hard work and commitment to this program,” Moore said.  “I want them all to know that they will always have a home here at UIC.”

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