Men's Basketball Survives Scare To Hold On For 68-66 Win Over Wright State|
Jan. 28, 2002
Chicago, Ill. - The clock couldn't run fast enough for UIC Men's basketball coach Jimmy Collins in the second half of the Flames' Monday night tilt with Horizon League foe Wright State.
Up 21 points with 16 minutes remaining, UIC (13-9, 4-4 Horizon League) held off a furious Raider rally for a 68-66 triumph in front of 2,147 at the UIC Pavilion.
Wright State's Jesse Deister had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but his fall-away, put-back off a missed free throw rimmed out as time expired. Vernard Hollins was at the line with a chance to tie the game for the Raiders (12-7 4-4 Horizon League) with 0:01 left. He missed the first shot, then missed the second on purpose, setting up Deister's final attempt.
"An ugly win is still a win," a relieved Collins said after the game. "At halftime we told the team that (Wright State) would make a run and they did.
"We just tightened up at the end and guys who regularly don't miss free throws missed."
The Flames missed three front ends of one-and-one attempts in the final 30 seconds that could have put the game away.
UIC senior Jordan Kardos, who finished with a team-high 14 points, gave UIC its biggest lead in the second half as his three-pointer from the right wing staked the Flames to a 58-37 lead with 16:04 left.
"Their team speed is so good it took a while for us to adjust to it," Wright State Head Coach Ed Schilling said. "We saw it on tape, but it's just not the same."
After a timeout, though, the Raiders began their rally, going on a 29-10 run the rest of the way to set up the final sequence.
All in all, four Flames finished the game in double figures, including sophomore Jabari Harris, who in his third career start tallied a career-high 13 points. Sophomore Cedrick Banks recorded his third career double-double with 12 points and a career-high tying 11 rebounds. Senior Cory Little also had 13 points for the Flames.
Wright State's Cain Daliboa led all scorers with 23 points.
The win was key for UIC as they began a stretch of six league games in the next 13 days. Following tonight's game, the Flames now hit the road for a trio of games, beginning on Thursday night at Detroit, which boasts the nation's longest home-court winning streak.