Men’s basketball nabs No. 6 tourney spot

Cheer on the Flames Tuesday as the men’s basketball team competes in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament at 7 p.m. at the UIC Pavilion.

Student tickets are free with i-card; UIC employees can purchase lower-level tickets for $10 through 5 p.m. Monday by calling 312-413-8421.

The Flames hope to send their four seniors off on a winning note Saturday, when they host second-place Detroit (19-11, 11-4) in the regular season finale for both teams at the Pavilion, beginning at 1 p.m. Seniors Daniel Barnes, Josh Crittle, Anthony Kelley and Gary Talton will be recognized in a pregame Senior Day ceremony shortly before tip-off.

The Flames (16-13, 7-8 Horizon League) clinched the No. 6 seed in the tournament after beating Wright State, 60-55, Tuesday at home.

Senior guard Daniel Barnes led UIC with 13 points. Junior forward Hayden Humes added 10 points.

“We had to claw and fight to get this ‘W,’” head coach Howard Moore said. “Our guys really stepped up. Everyone that played gave us a little something tonight. I’m proud of my guys.

“It feels great to be able to officially clinch a home game in the Horizon League Tournament. We’ve been battling for three years now, trying to get this program on the right path. It’s never easy, but we’re heading in the right direction.”

UIC was the early aggressor against Wright State, jumping out to a 15-6 lead with 13 minutes left after Humes connected on three straight three-pointers. But Wright State clawed back to claim its first lead of the game with five minutes remaining.

The teams entered their locker rooms tied at 27 at halftime.

The Raiders scored the first four points of the second half, opening up a 31-27 lead. But the Flames regained the lead and stretched the advantage to 49-38 with nine minutes remaining.

The Raiders hit a three-pointer with 14 seconds left to slice UIC’s advantage to three (58-55). But Talton drilled two free throws to put the game out of reach.

UIC wraps up its regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday, taking on Detroit at the Pavilion.

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