High-scoring fourth period pushes Flames to victory

Ruvanna Campbell

Ruvanna Campbell contributed 21 points and 15 rebounds Monday. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The women’s basketball team (4-1) returned home to pull off an exciting 66-63 comeback victory over Central Michigan (4-1) Friday at the UIC Pavilion. The Flames used a 23-point fourth period to erase an 11-point deficit.

The Flames return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bradley.

Ruvanna Campbell scored 10 of UIC’s first 17 points as UIC trailed 22-17 after the first period. Campbell finished with 21 points and 15 boards, her fifth straight double-double. In the second period, UIC used a 6-0 run, including a three pointer by Melita Emanuel-Carr, to tie the game at 31 but went into the intermission trailing 33-31.

In the third period the Flames managed just 12 points, shooting 29 percent (6-21) from the field and trailed by as many as 11 points. UIC chipped away at the lead with an 8-0 run to begin the fourth period behind Campbell and Kendyl Nunn (18 points).

The Flames scored 10 consecutive baskets to take their first lead of the game at 62-60 with 4:49 remaining. Central Michigan would not go away quietly as Cassie Breen (14 points) connected on a three pointer to give the Chippewas a 63-62 lead.

With 1:20 remaining, Campbell hit two free throws to put UIC ahead, 64-63. Cate Soane (six points) added two late free throws to seal the win.

“The fourth period was the difference,” head coach Regina Miller said. “We needed to change the tempo of the game. When we went to our bread and butter, which is man-to-man defense and put pressure on them, we were able to convert some of the stops and that changed the complexity of the game.”

Emanuel-Carr finished with eight points, nine assists and five rebounds. Marissa Grossfeld added five points and seven rebounds off the bench.

“Marissa gave us good valuable minutes off the bench,” Miller said. “She does the little things, an unsung hero-type. She rebounded, took a couple of charges and was willing to sacrifice her body and she also hit a couple of big threes in the first half. She was steady and played her role well.”