Men's Hoops Can't Overcome Slow Start In 76-70 Loss At Cleveland State
Feb. 2, 2002
Cleveland, Ohio - The UIC men's basketball team dug itself a hole it could never climb out of on Saturday afternoon, falling 76-70 to host Cleveland State in a physical Horizon League match-up.
After trailing by as many as 17 points in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Flames (13-11, 4-6 Horizon League) would twice trim the lead to three in the second half, but would get no closer as the Vikings staved off the comeback bid.
"We dug ourselves a hole and expended a lot of energy just trying to dig ourselves out" UIC Head Coach Jimmy Collins said after the game.
"You can't beat a team when they shoot 54 percent and you shoot 35."
UIC senior Jordan Kardos did his best to carry his team back versus the Vikings, scoring 21 of his career-high 27 points in the second half. With his jumper at the 7:13 mark in the second half, Kardos set a personal milestone, becoming the 16th player in UIC history to score 1,000 points in his career.
The Flames, who entered the contest as the second-best three-point shooting team in the country, had used the trey all season as an important weapon. On Saturday, though, UIC couldn't find its touch from behind the arc, connecting on just 19% (5-for-26) of its attempts.
The Vikings (10-11, 4-6 Horizon League) were the aggressors from the opening tip, storming out to an 18-4 lead before the first official timeout. Senior guard Jamaal Harris led the charge, scoring nine points of his team-high 23 points during the early surge.
After trailing by as many as 17 points in the first 10 minutes of the contest, the Flames would get their feet underneath them and begin to chip away at CSU's lead.
UIC would trail 41-31 at intermission and would open the second half on a 15-8 run, closing to within three, 49-46, on a trifecta from Jonathan Schneiderman (16 points) with 11:31 left.
The Vikings didn't falter, though, going on a 14-3 run of their own to push the lead to 63-49 at the 7:31 mark.
The Flames, again, fought back to pull within three, but Theo Dixon (20 points) hit a pair of free throws with 0:19 remaining to ice the game.
Collins' crew, which is now 0-4 in Saturday league games and 2-8 on the road this season, wraps up its three-game road swing on Monday night as they visit Youngstown State at 7:00 p.m.