Men’s basketball grabs preseason victory against Maroons

The men’s basketball team earned a preseason victory Saturday against the University of Chicago with a 79-57 at the UIC Pavilion.

The Flames were ignited by a 16-3 run late in the first half that carried over into the early minutes of the second period.  Three UIC players reached double figures as junior Marc Brown paced the team with a game-high 14 points.

“For the most part, I am pleased with our performance today,” said head coach Howard Moore.

“I told the guys before the game to just go out and play how we’ve been practicing. We play tough, physical, defensive-minded basketball and our upperclassmen set that tone.

“As a coach, you’re never satisfied and there are a lot of things that we still need to work on, but I thought today was a good first step.”

UIC controlled the paint from the early going, outscoring Chicago on the inside 20-8 in the first half and 38-18 for the game.  Sophomore forward Jake Wiegand shot 5-of-7 from the field in the first period and totaled all 11 of his points before the break.  Wiegand nearly collected a double-double as he corralled nine rebounds (six offensive) in 22 minutes of action.

The Flames received solid contributions from the bench with 42 reserve points, led by freshman Markese McGuire. The Elkhart, Ind., native notched 13 points, including nine in the second half as he shot 4-of-6 from the floor.

Senior Jordan Harks chipped in eight points in 14 minutes, while senior Kelsey Barlow and junior Joey Miller both added six points apiece.  Miller also dished out a game-high four assists.

Junior Ahman Fells was solid off the bench with eight rebounds, including three on the offensive end.

At the 4:18 mark in the second half, UIC held a 28-point lead (74-46), its largest of the game, limiting the Maroons to a six points in nine minutes. During that stretch, the Flames outscored Chicago 22-6 to put the game out of reach.

UIC played under control offensively, committing only nine turnovers overall and just three in the first half.  Conversely, on the defensive end, the Flames forced 17 turnovers to capitalize for 17 points.

The Flames return to the court Nov. 9 for the season-opener against Drake at home with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

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