Bench Play Propels Men's Hoops Past UW-Green Bay, 75-67|
Feb 9, 2002
Chicago, Ill. - UIC's contest with UW-Green Bay on Saturday afternoon had all the makings of what college coaches and fans fear most, the let down game.
The Flames were coming in off a buzzer-beater triumph over league-leading UW-Milwaukee on Thursday night and hosting a Phoenix squad they had rolled past a month earlier on the road.
Three minutes into the game things definitely seemed to be pointed in UWGB's favor as they came out firing to a quick 11-2 lead.
But behind a 38-point spark from its bench and a strong performance from Thursday night's hero Martell Bailey, UIC overcame a sluggish first half to pull out a 75-67 victory in front of 4,002 at the UIC Pavilion.
"I'm proud of the way our guys stayed poised," UIC head coach Jimmy Collins said. "It's always difficult to play Green Bay.
"This is a good win for us after coming off such an emotional win on Thursday."
The win was the Flames' third straight, matching their longest winning streak of the season. UIC now sits at 16-11 on the season, 7-6/5th place in the Horizon League. UW-Green Bay is now 5-16, 2-8 in the league.
Bailey, a sophomore, paced the Flames' starting unit with 17 points and a team-high seven rebounds, but it was strong bench play that helped UIC stave off the Phoenix upset bid.
Junior Jonathan Schneiderman continued his hot shooting, leading the reserves with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. The Flames also received strong minutes from sophomore Armond Williams, who tallied 13 points and six rebounds, as well as junior Kyle Kickert (3 points, 3 rebounds) and Aaron Carr (5 points, 4 assists).
Despite shooting a paltry 28 percent in the first-half, UIC closed out the opening frame with a 28-26 lead over UWGB.
Both teams traded baskets in the second half with the Flames' taking the lead for good at 37-36 following a jumper from Kardos with 15:37 left in the contest.
UW-Green Bay center Greg Babcock scored a game-high 21 points for the Phoenix, while Aaron Jessup (13 points) and Devante Blanks (12 points) each turned in impressive efforts for the Phoenix.
The Flames will be back in action on Saturday, February 16th, as they will host cross-town rival, Loyola, at the UIC Pavilion at 3:00 PM.
"(The game) is something we are definitely looking forward to," Collins said. "Two great institutions with two great basketball balls teams in the same city meeting.
"It's what college basketball is all about."