UIC's Comeback Falls Short Against Youngstown State, 75-62

Sophomore Jake Wiegand grabbed six offensive rebounds versus YSU.
Sophomore Jake Wiegand grabbed six offensive rebounds versus YSU.

Jan. 7, 2014

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CHICAGO – The UIC men’s basketball team (5-11, 0-2) was on the verge of a comeback in the second half against Youngstown State (10-8, 1-2) on Tuesday night, cutting YSU’s lead down to seven after being behind 15, but ultimately dropped the Horizon League tilt, 75-62.  YSU’s Kendrick Perry led all scorers with 23 points, while UIC was paced by senior Kelsey Barlow with 17, his 14th double-digit game of the season.

“It all starts with competitiveness and we will find ways to be more competitive,” said UIC Head Coach Howard Moore.  “We’ve shown that we can compete in the first half.  In the second half, we didn’t play with any aggressiveness and that’s why I went to a different lineup.  I was looking for a group that could bring some juice and they did that.  I may need to look at that group a little bit more.  We are certainly better than what our record shows.”

After leading by as much as six points in the first half, UIC found themselves in a 56-41 deficit with less than 12 minutes left to play.  With the game knotted at 39-39, the Penguins executed a 17-2 run during a five-minute stretch in the second half, that’s included back-to-back threes from sophomore Ryan Weber. 

That’s when Moore subbed in four non-starters who capped the Penguin’s run and by the 6:47 mark, UIC had cut YSU’s lead down to seven and appeared to have momentum.  The Flames’ 10-2 offensive spurt was quickly countered with three straight points by YSU as they were back in front by double digits.  Sophomore Jake Wiegand made it a 63-56 game after a three-point play with 4:31 remaining, but consecutive treys from YSU two minutes later sealed UIC’s fate.   

The Flames dominated YSU on the boards by a margin of 36-26 as senior Jordan Harks grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, leading UIC for the third consecutive outing.  UIC also corralled 15 offensive caroms, six from Wiegand, compared to just two for the Penguins, producing 17 second chance points on the night.

Both teams shot lights out in the first half with YSU hitting 15-of-23 (65.2%) and UIC 14-of-28 (50%).  The Flames were plagued by cold shooting in the second period, totaling just 7-of-27 (25.9%) from the floor as the Penguins remained efficient, finishing with a team shooting mark of 58.3 percent.

Junior Marc Brown joined Barlow in double figures with 14 points, the 20th 10-plus point effort of his career.  

UIC returns to action on Jan. 12 as they travel to Wright State for an 8 p.m. CT match up.  The Raiders are 9-8 overall and 1-1 in the conference as they play at Valparaiso on Friday.