Men’s basketball breaks road-game losing streak at Detroit
The men’s basketball team (6-19, 2-8 Horizon League) earned its first road win of the season Sunday and snapped an eight-game losing streak with an 83-73 win at Detroit (11-15, 4-7 Horizon League).
The Flames continue their three-game road trip Thursday at Wright State (11-13, 3-7 Horizon League).
At Detroit, UIC shot a season-best 58.7 percent (27-of-46) from the field and 54.5 percent (12-of-22) from three-point range. Senior Marc Brown led four UIC players in double figures with a game-high 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting.
Senior Jay Harris scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, while junior Paris Burns scored 18. Sophomore Markese McGuire netted all 14 of his points in the first half and ended the game 4-of-6 from behind the arc.
“The win feels good but I am more pleased with how we decided to play together as a team,” head coach Howard Moore said. “These players are starting to figure out that we are a better team than our record shows and we can play with anybody in the league. There is a lot of basketball left to play and as long as we keep playing with urgency down the stretch anything can happen.”
Detroit erased UIC’s 43-36 halftime lead and went ahead by five (63-58) with 8:31 left to play. The Flames regrouped and executed a 14-1 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes to go back in front, 72-64. UIC went ahead by 11 (77-66), its largest advantage of the night, with 1:45 remaining after a Harris triple.
The Titans made one last attempt to rally by scoring seven of the next eight points, which cut UIC’s lead down to five (78-73) with 53 seconds left. The Flames held strong with defensive stops and hit 5-of-6 from the foul line in the final 34 seconds.
The Flames shot 7-of-10 from behind the arc in the first half, including 4-of-4 from McGuire. He’s 8-of-11 from downtown in the last two games.
“He is playing with a lot of confidence right now,” Moore said of McGuire. “He’s another one of those guys who was inserted into the lineup because of his defense and hustle. Now you are seeing his offense come around after he started focusing on the right things.”
Burns recorded 11 of his 18 points in the first half as he dished out a game-high five assists. Burns is averaging 17 points and 5.3 assists per game over his last four contests.
“I thought Paris did a great job of running the team,” Moore said. “He showed a lot of leadership and was very vocal today.”