Strong Second Half Leads Flames Past Youngstown State, 72-68

Junior point guard Gary Talton
Junior point guard Gary Talton

Feb. 2, 2012

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CHICAGO - The Flames placed four players in double figures, including double-doubles by both Hayden Humes and Darrin Williams, as the UIC men's basketball team used a resounding 40-27 rebounding advantage to defeat visiting Youngstown State, 72-68 in a Horizon League game at the UIC Pavilion Thursday night. Junior guard Daniel Barnes poured in a game-high 19 points on five three-pointers to pace the Flames' offensive output.

With the win, UIC improves to 7-15 on the season (3-9 Horizon League), while Youngstown State drops to 12-10 (7-5 Horizon). The Flames secured the regular season split versus the Penguins, and eclipsed their entire Horizon League win output from the 2010-11 campaign.

Junior point guard Gary Talton also scored 19 points, while Williams chipped in 11 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Humes scored 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting, and pulled down 10 boards. Youngstown State's entire starting five tallied double figures in scoring, led by Kendrick Perry's 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting.

"I thought we really did some good things tonight, especially when we got the ball inside," said head coach Howard Moore. "We got Darrin (Williams) going, and that really loosened up some things for Danny (Barnes), Gary (Talton) and Hayden (Humes) on the perimeter. It was a gutsy win tonight."

It was a back-and-forth affair through the opening 15 minutes of the first half, with a combined 15 ties and lead changes. After a driving layup by Talton gave UIC a 20-19 lead with 4:31 remaining in the stanza, Youngstown State manufactured a 16-7 run, and claimed a 35-27 lead with just six seconds left in the half - Ashen Ward scored seven points in the spurt. Talton beat the buzzer on a coast-to-coast drive to pull the Flames within six, 35-29, heading into the break. The Flames shot just 37.9 percent from the field in the stanza, while YSU countered with a 46.2 percent shooting effort.

UIC started the second half on a 15-5 run, quickly claiming a 44-40 lead with 13:15 remaining - Barnes, Williams and freshman Sammy Sutter combined for five field goals during the stretch. Williams scored on a post entry from freshman Marc Brown with 8:58 remaining to give the Flames a 48-45 lead, but Perry countered with a drive and score on the other end to pull the Penguins within one, 48-47.

From the 8:08 to the 4:01 mark, UIC went on a commanding 12-3 run, opening up a double-digit (62-52) advantage - Humes and Barnes each drilled three-pointers during the spree. Youngstown State answered with an 11-4 run, pulling within just three, 66-63, with 37 seconds remaining. Six of those points were scored in 12 seconds, after Perry hit a three-pointer from the right corner, then stole UIC's in-bound pass, and connected for another triple from the same spot. Talton and Barnes combined to go 6-for-6 from the charity stripe to secure the win.

The Flames shot 51.9 percent from the field in the second half, and ended the game with a 28-22 scoring advantage in the paint. Williams' double-double marked his third of the season, and the second in the past two games. In the past two contests, UIC has scored a combined 87 points in the second half.

UIC will take on first-place Cleveland State Sunday afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m. from the Pavilion. The Vikings will take on Loyola Friday night at 8 p.m. CST. .