Women’s squad stays strong on defense against SIUE
The women’s basketball team (5-1) continued its strong defensive play Wednesday night in a 63-52 home victory over SIU-Edwardsville (2-4).
The Flames’ next game, Saturday against Western Illinois (4-3), will have special significance for UIC head coach Regina Miller. The last time the two teams met in 1994, the Flames defeated the Fighting Leathernecks 62-58 and Miller was in her second season as Western Illinois head coach.
The game begins at 7 p.m. in the Flames Athletic Center. Students are free with i-card.
UIC held the Cougars to 37 percent shooting (17-of-45) and forced 22 SIUE turnovers Wednesday night at the Pavilion. SIUE became the fifth UIC opponent to shoot under 40 percent this season.
The Flames picked up 13 steals and scored 19 points off SIUE turnovers. UIC is averaging 13.2 steals and forcing 21.7 turnovers per game.
UIC outrebounded SIUE 40-28 and collected 18 offensive rebounds. The Flames set season highs in blocks (6), three-pointers made (5) and free-throw percentage (.727).
Junior Terri Bender scored a career-high 23 points for her sixth career 20-point performance. She converted 15-of-19 free throw attempts, including 11-of-13 in the second half. Her 15 successful free throws ties the program record held by four players — the last UIC player to make 15 free throws was Jaysie Chambers in 2002. Bender, who had six assists and five steals over 36 minutes, has already collected five steals on four occasions this season and ranks 10th nationally with 4.0 steals per contest.
Redshirt junior Ruvanna Campbell, who scored 14 points for her 10th consecutive double-digit performance, had eight rebounds and four steals. Her 22 steals rank 13th in the nation.
Sophomore Melita Emanuel-Carr had 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. Senior Gisselle Truiett was 2-of-4 from downtown and finished with eight points. Redshirt sophomore Kendyl Nunn grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.
SIUE held an early 8-7 lead on Micah Jones’ layup with 16:42 on the clock. UIC responded with an 11-0 run to go up 18-8 and never relinquished its lead. The Flames held SIUE to six field goals in the first half and led 28-16 heading into the locker room.
The Cougars cut UIC’s lead to 35-26 on Shronda Butt’s free throw with 14:12 remaining in the second half. The Flames went on a 13-0 run to take their largest lead of the contest at 48-26 with 10:25 left in the contest.
SIUE never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way as Bender scored UIC’s last 13 points, including seven free throws. She scored 19 of her 23 points in the second half.