Fourth straight win for UIC women’s basketball

UIC-basketball-Bender

Terri Bender made her first shot, a three-pointer, to give the Flames an early lead against Western Illinois Saturday.

 

UIC women’s basketball continued its winning ways with a 78-70 victory over Western Illinois Saturday — the Flames’ fourth straight win in six of their last seven games.

UIC (6-1) was sharp from the opening tip with an 11-2 advantage.  Terri Bender returned to the starting lineup and nailed her first shot, a three-pointer, to give the Flames the early lead.  She finished with nine points, five rebounds and five assists in her first game back from injury.

After a timeout, Western Illinois (6-5) went on a 13-2 run to outscore the Flames 16-8 down the stretch. The Leathernecks took their first lead of the game on a layup with 8:32 in the second period at 22-21 to increase the lead to five.  UIC countered with a mini-run of its own, tying the game at 31-31 on a three pointer by Melita Emanuel-Carr (14 points, seven rebounds).  The Flames went into the break with a 37-35 lead, their first halftime lead since the season opener against Howard.

“With the return of Terri at the point guard spot, it was nice to get off to fast start,” said coach Regina Miller. “We were able to put players in their natural positions and create balanced scoring at all positions.”

In a game that featured 10 ties and 20 lead changes, the fourth period saw the lead change hands 10 times.  UIC took a 60-59 lead on Emanuel-Carr’s third three-pointer of the game with 6:44 remaining, but Western didn’t go away quietly. The lead see-sawed back and forth until Marissa Grossfeld (six points) nailed a three pointer from the corner with 1:40 left to give the Flames a 71-70 lead.

Kendyl Nunn led the charge scoring a career high 22 points off the bench.  Cate Soane tied her career best with four blocks to go along with a season high 15 points. Ruvanna Campbell posted her sixth double-double of the season with 11 points and 22 rebounds — the seventh time in her career Campbell has recorded 20 or more rebounds.

The Flames return to action Dec. 17 at Denver in their final road trip of the nonconference slate before starting a three-game home stand Dec. 20 vs. Toledo, followed by Nevada Dec. 22 and Eastern Illinois Dec. 28.