Talton's Runner Lifts UIC Past Rival Loyola, 61-59

Senior forward Anthony Kelley
Senior forward Anthony Kelley

Jan. 16, 2013

UIC 61, Loyola 59 (Final Stats)Get Acrobat Reader

CHICAGO - Senior point guard Gary Talton sank a running bank shot with just 1.7 seconds remaining, lifting the UIC men's basketball team to a thrilling 61-59 win over crosstown rival Loyola in a Horizon League battle at the UIC Pavilion Wednesday night. The victory pushed UIC's record to 7-1 at home this season.

Overall, UIC improved to 11-7, with a 2-3 Horizon League record. Loyola dropped to 10-7 and 1-4.

Talton scored a team-high 14 points on six field goals, and dished out four assists against just one turnover. He was joined in double figures by senior center Josh Crittle, who chipped in 12 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Loyola was led by Christian Thomas, who poured in 16 points on 4-of-4 shooting, and an 8-of-8 effort from the free throw line. Preseason All-Horizon League selection Ben Averkamp contributed 14 points. UIC senior Anthony Kelley collected just his second-career start, scoring six points, pulling down three rebounds, dishing out two assists and swatting one block.

UIC committed just three turnovers in the game, a season-low mark. The Flames also scored 11 points off Loyola's nine turnovers, and stifled the Ramblers to just a 34.8 percent effort from the field in the second half.

"I think we missed our first 10 shots of the second half, and Loyola was surging," said head coach Howard Moore. "We knew they were going to make some runs. That run certainly got us back on our heels. But we settled down, got the ball inside to the big fella (Crittle) and got some key stops when we needed them.

"Gary (Talton) has grown so much within this program," Moore added. "He has solidified himself as our true leader. There's no doubt we wanted the ball in his hands on that last play."

UIC shot 50.0 percent from the floor in the first half, converting 15-of-30 field goals. Crittle established himself inside early, before picking up his second foul with eight points to his credit at the 6:38 mark. UIC picked up its first double-digit lead at the 13:54 mark, after senior Anthony Kelley's second three of the frame. The Flames' lead reached 14 points (30-16), a first-half high, with 6:55 remaining after Crittle and junior forward Hayden Humes combined for five quick points.

Loyola ended the first stanza on a 14-5 run, bolstered by a pair of field goals by Averkamp. After the Ramblers trimmed UIC's lead to four (32-28), sophomore wing Marc Brown drilled a three-pointer from the right corner, pushing the Flames' advantage back to seven, 35-28, with 1:26 remaining.

Averkamp scored inside on the ensuing possession, completing the half's scoring (35-30). Loyola had four fouls to give in the final 13.4 seconds, and used them all. Talton missed a quality 12-foot baseline look as time expired. UIC out-scored the Ramblers 9-0 off turnovers in the first half, while committing only one mishap themselves.

Loyola began the second half on a commanding 10-0 run, claiming a 40-35 lead coming out of the first media timeout (15:40). UIC regained the lead just over three minutes later (12:43) after Crittle's fifth field goal. There were a combined 14 ties and lead changes down the stretch. After a three-pointer by Loyola's Cully Payne with 2:46 remaining, Loyola claimed a three-point (57-54) lead, its largest advantage since the 14:06 mark.

Talton answered with a three from the left wing on the other end, knotting the score at 57-57 with 2:16 remaining. Averkamp answered with a layup on the Ramblers' ensuing possession, giving Loyola its final lead, 59-57 (1:37). Crittle tied the game with a converted layup on the other end, and the Flames forced a defensive stop after a missed three-pointer by Loyola's Devon Turk with just 36 seconds left.

Talton corralled the defensive rebound, and Moore elected not to call timeout. Talton called his own number, driving through the left lane, and finished off glass under duress with just 1.7 seconds left. Loyola head coach Porter Moser and Moore called a combined three timeouts leading up to the final shot. On the last play, Averkamp caught a full-court pass just outside the left wing of the three-point line, turned and launched a shot that fell just short.

UIC will travel to the Motor City to take on Detroit in a Horizon League showdown Saturday. Tip-off from Calihan Hall is set for 5:30 p.m. CST.