Flames Upend Youngstown State in Triple Overtime, 88-83

Senior Josh Crittle posted a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds at YSU.
Senior Josh Crittle posted a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds at YSU.

Feb. 10, 2013

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The UIC men's basketball team gutted out an 88-83 triple overtime win over Youngstown State for its second Horizon League road victory of the season Sunday afternoon at the Beeghly Center.  Senior point guard Gary Talton poured in a game-high 23 points to lead five Flames in double figures.  It was UIC's longest game in more than 12 years.       

With the win, UIC upped its record to 15-10 overall, 6-6 in the Horizon League.  Youngstown State dropped to 14-11 and 6-6.  The Flames are now tied for fifth in the Horizon League standings alongside YSU.  The Flames own the outright tiebreaker over the Penguins by way of the regular season sweep.  It marks the first time UIC has swept a Horizon League opponent since 2008-09, when the Flames swept Valparaiso, Detroit and Loyola.

"It was a gutsy effort by our guys," said head coach Howard Moore.  "Coming in, I thought we had the right focus and approach.  We had some very good days of preparation and practice this week, and our guys seemed very locked into the game plan.  Our seniors made big plays in big moments today.  That's what seniors are supposed to do; they set the tone for this road trip.  That showed a tremendous effort, and the rest of our guys followed suit."    

Talton's scoring output came on seven field goals - he also corralled seven rebounds, handed out nine assists and swiped four steals.  Senior guard Daniel Barnes scored 20 points, including four three-pointers, and pulled down seven boards.  Senior center Josh Crittle posted his second double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds, including five offensive boards.  Sophomore Marc Brown added 12 points, while junior forward Hayden Humes chipped in 10. 

YSU was led by Kendrick Perry, who poured in 29 points, including 18 during the three overtime periods.  UIC out-rebounded the Penguins 54-45.  It marked UIC's longest game since Jan. 11, 2001, when the Flames defeated Milwaukee, 112-106, at the UIC Pavilion.

Both teams shot a combined 13-for-50 in the first half, in what became a half-court defensive battle.  At the first media timeout, neither team had converted a single field goal.  YSU broke a 7-7 tie with a 10-1 run mid-way through the frame, claiming a 17-8 lead with 5:54 remaining, a score that lasted until the final media break, with 3:36 remaining. 

UIC closed out the half on an 8-2 spurt, pulling within three, 19-16, heading into the locker room at halftime.  The Flames held a commanding 23-15 edge on the boards through the opening 20:00, including 19 defensive rebounds. 

The pace picked up considerably in the second half, where the Flames out-scored the Penguins 41-38.  UIC shot 53.1 percent from the floor on 17 field goals, and YSU was 13-of-28 for 46.4 percent. 

YSU clinged to a 57-55 lead with 5.1 seconds remaining after a missed shot by Crittle.  But the Flames corralled the offensive rebound and following a timeout, Talton sent the game into overtime after receiving the inbound pass on the baseline, driving the lane and scoring with just 0.8 seconds remaining. 

UIC led 66-63 with 18.4 seconds remaining in the first overtime, but Perry again extended the game.  After missing the potential game-tying three with 5.9 seconds remaining, the Penguins collected the offensive rebound and called timeout.  Perry then buried a deep three from the left wing as time expired to force a second overtime session.  He had YSU's only two field goals during overtime, with both being three-pointers.

YSU led 72-69 with just over one minute remaining in double overtime, but Humes knotted the score at 72-72 with his second three of the game with 48 seconds left.  Neither team scored again, as the game transitioned to triple overtime. 

Humes fouled out with 3:08 remaining in the third overtime session - he was replaced in the lineup by senior forward Anthony Kelley.  Talton converted a pair of free throws, followed by Perry going coast-to-coast with 27.2 seconds remaining, making the score 83-79, in favor of UIC.  But Brown was whistled for a technical foul after the officials went to the monitor, and determined that he landed an elbow in the face of Damian Eargle. 

Brown was fouled by Eargle on the previous play, and was awarded two free throws before YSU shot the freebies from the technical.  He sank both to give UIC a six-point lead, 85-79.  Perry then buried both of his ensuing free throws, trimming UIC's lead to 85-81 with 25.0seconds remaining.  After the Penguins forced a stop, Brown fouled Shawn Amiker, who converted two free throws to pull YSU back within two, 85-83.  Talton and Barnes went a combined 3-for-4 from the free throw line down the stretch, preserving the five-point win.

UIC will be idle until next Saturday (Feb. 16), when the Flames travel across town to take on rival Loyola at Gentile Arena in the Horizon League Network Game of the Week beginning at 1:00 p.m. CST.