Flames Drop Another Heartbreaker, 70-66 at Detroit

Williams doubled up the Titans with 13 points and 10 boards.
Williams doubled up the Titans with 13 points and 10 boards.

Jan. 27, 2012

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DETROIT - Junior point guard Gary Talton scored 17 points to lead four Flames in double figures, but Detroit's Ray McCallum poured in 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting, and the Titans held off a furious second-half rally to defeat the UIC men's basketball team, 70-66 Friday night at Calihan Hall. The loss dropped UIC to 3-7 on the season in games decided by five points or less.

With the setback, UIC moves to 6-15 on the season with a 2-9 Horizon League record. Detroit climbed above .500 both overall (12-11) and in League action (6-5).

Talton's team-high 17 points were fueled by three triples, and a 4-for-4 effort from the free throw line. Senior center Darrin Williams recorded his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman point guard Sammy Sutter scored a career-high 12 points, and junior guard Daniel Barnes added 11. Sutter, a walk-on from Bartlett, Ill., played a season-high 17 minutes, and converted four field goals while running UIC's offense.

McCallum's 26 points led a threesome of Detroit players in double figures, along with Eli Holman (16 points) and Jason Calliste (12). The Titans out-scored UIC 34-20 in the paint, and held a 36-25 advantage on the boards, bolstered by 14 offensive rebounds.

The game was a back-and-forth affair for the first 16 minutes of the first half, before Detroit ended the frame on a commanding 13-3 run over the final 4:09. That flurry upped Detroit's lead from just five (24-19) to 15 points (37-22) heading into the locker room at halftime. The run was capped off by Evan Bruinsma converting an off-balance shot as time expired.

UIC began to chip away at Detroit's lead at the outset of the second stanza, pulling within a dozen (43-31) at the first media timeout (15:51), and slicing the deficit to single-digits (46-38) with 13:55 remaining - the run was capped off by Talton's third three-pointer. After scoring on six-consecutive possessions, the Flames pulled within one possession (48-45) with 11:14 left - Sutter had two field goals in the stretch, including a three-pointer.

McCallum converted two free throws on the other end, and Detroit held at least a five-point advantage for the ensuing 9:25, eventually building its lead back to 13 points, 59-46, with 4:56 remaining. But UIC mounted another rally, stringing together a commanding 18-8 run, and pulling within just three, 67-64, with 50 seconds remaining.

After Talton hit two freebies with 38 seconds left, UIC pulled within 68-66. Calliste then split two free throws on the other end, and the Flames took over possession trailing by just three (69-66). Barnes and Marc Brown both missed contested three-point shots in an attempt to tie the game. Detroit's LaMarcus Lowe went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe with nine seconds left, completing the game's scoring.

The Flames will return home to host Youngstown State next Thursday (Feb. 2) at the UIC Pavilion beginning at 7 p.m. CST.