Flames steal win in close contest

Katie Hannemann is the Horizon League’s Co-Player of the Week. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The women’s basketball team (9-16, 5-7) picked up its second consecutive Horizon League win Saturday with a 76-74 triumph against third-place Detroit.

Eight lead changes and four ties in the final four minutes gave both teams the opportunity for victory, but a wide-open layup by sophomore Gisselle Truiett with 20 seconds left and a Flames’ defensive stop sealed the outcome. Junior Rachel Story posted a game-high 22 points to notch her eighth 20-point outing of the season.

“I thought we played with a lot of passion,” head coach Regina Miller said.  “It was a true team effort and I’m very pleased with how we executed our post defense.”

Junior Emily Kobel tied a career high with 17 points, sinking four three pointers, including three in the second half.

“Emily knows if she’s open, she has the green light,” Miller said. “She hit some huge shots for us tonight and really stepped up her play.”

Redshirt junior Katie Hannemann added 16 points to UIC’s total.

Senior Taylor Foulks recorded her third game of the season with double-digit rebounds, leading all players with 10 boards. Foulks’ seven points leaves her just 12 shy of 1,000 for her career.

Both teams struggled to find the basket in the early goings as they combined for just two buckets in the first five minutes of play.  The Titans went on a 10-0 run and pulled ahead of UIC, 15-4, with 12 minutes left in the period.

Later in the half, the Flames went on an 11-2 run, capped off by Kobel’s three-pointer, which gave UIC its first lead of the game, 30-28, with less than three minutes left.

The advantage was short lived as Detroit responded by scoring the final 10 points of the half to jump ahead, 38-30, at the break.

The Flames cut Detroit’s lead to four points with 16 minutes left in the second half, but the Titans’ Demeisha Fambro put up seven straight points to give UDM a 52-41 edge.

UIC executed a 15-3 run over four minutes to grab the 56-55 edge.  Detroit retook the lead on the next possession, but Kobel nailed her third trey of the game to put the Flames ahead, 59-57, with just over eight minutes left to play.

The Flames held the lead until the 3:44 mark when the Titans scored to jump ahead by one.  That’s when both teams battled for the lead until Story found Truiett for a layup with 20 seconds remaining, giving the Flames a 75-74 lead.

UIC held strong on the defensive end by forcing Shareta Brown into a tough look, which clanked off the rim and out-of-bounds.  Kobel secured the inbounds pass and was fouled with just 0.2 on the clock, leaving Detroit with a three-quarter court heave that fell short.

UIC faces No. 2 Youngstown State at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Player of the week honors

Hannemann was named the Horizon League Women’s Basketball Co-Player of the Week, along with Green Bay’s Megan Lukan.  Hannemann was also named League Player of the Week by CollegeSportsMadness.com.

The center averaged 25.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in two home victories last week.

“Over the course of the season she has undoubtedly become one of the top post players in the league, if not one of the best overall players,” Miller said.

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