Men’s squad returns home to face Detroit tonight
Cheer on the men’s basketball team tonight against Detroit at 7 p.m. at the UIC Pavilion. Students are free with i-card; employees can purchase discounted $7 tickets for Military Appreciation Night using code “MILITARY14” at Ticketmaster.com
In their last outing, the Flames (5-13, 1-2 Horizon League) dropped a Horizon League road game at Valparaiso (15-3, 2-1 Horizon League) Jan. 8, 85-56.
Senior Ahman Fells tied a career high against Valpo with 13 points on 5-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-6 from the outside. Fells has four straight double-digit scoring efforts.
“We were outplayed in every facet of the game,” head coach Howard Moore said. “We are down a few guys right now but that’s no excuse. We will come ready to play Detroit.”
The Flames were once again without 6-9 forwards Jason McClellan and Tai Odiase due to injury. Valpo took advantage of UIC’s lack of height on the interior to score 50 points in the paint. Crusader center Vashil Fernandez notched a career-high 15 points and added eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
“Fernandez was aggressive, especially in the early part of the game,” Moore said. “That was obviously their strategy and it worked out.”
The Flames held a 12-8 lead after fifth-year senior Jay Harris sank a three just over four minutes into the game. Harris finished the night with eight points, but had to sit a good portion of the first half after picking up two quick fouls. Junior Jake Wiegand was also limited in the first period with two early whistles.
The Crusaders closed out the first half on a 16-8 run and went into the break ahead, 47-32.
Fells sank a triple to start the second half, but Valpo used a 13-3 spurt to go up by 22 (60-38) with 16:19 left to play. The Crusaders outscored the Flames, 38-24, in the final period and shot more than 60 percent (32-of-53) for the game.
Sophomore Markese McGuire gave UIC eight points and two treys, while junior Paris Burns added seven points and four assists. Sophomore Hans-Christian Lauer grabbed a career-high five rebounds and chipped in four points.