Flames Come Up Short at Loyola, 78-69

Daniel Barnes
Daniel Barnes

Feb. 11, 2012

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CHICAGO - The Flames' junior backcourt tandem of Gary Talton and Daniel Barnes combined to score 33 points, but Loyola saw five players score in double figures, as the Ramblers posted a convincing 78-69 win over the UIC men's basketball team in a Horizon League game at Gentile Arena Saturday afternoon.

With the setback, UIC drops to 7-17, with a 3-11 mark in Horizon League play. Loyola picked up its first conference win of the season, improving to 6-18 overall (1-13 Horizon). The cross-town rivals split the regular season series.

Talton scored a game-high 18 points on a career-best seven field goals, while Barnes chipped in 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including three triples. Preseason All-Horizon League selection Ben Averkamp scored 17 points to pace Loyola, who led from wire-to-wire.

"We had to weather the storm tonight; Loyola came out hot and made shots," said UIC head coach Howard Moore. "(Ben) Averkamp and (Walt) Gibler asserted themselves inside, especially Averkamp. Loyola did a great job of getting into us defensively, and took us out of our comfort zone. We knew this was going to be a battle; it was a rivalry game, and records weren't going to matter. They were the aggressors tonight; it showed up on the glass, and it showed in their shooting percentage."

Loyola jumped out to a 10-2 lead early in the first half, and held a 39-26 advantage at halftime, after shooting 57.1 percent from the field. The Ramblers led by as many as 15 points in the opening frame, bolstered by Averkamp's 12 points off the bench.

UIC opened the second half on a 15-7 run, pulling within 41-33 with 17:16 remaining. But Loyola countered with a 5-0 flurry, building its lead back to double-digits, 46-34. After the Flames trimmed the deficit to nine (52-43) with 13:20 remaining, the Ramblers again answered, pushing their lead back to 16 points (61-43) after a three-pointer by Jordan Hicks.

UIC mounted its final run in the waning stages, pulling within three possessions (74-67) after going on an 11-5 run. Loyola closed out the game by converting four free throws in the final 46 seconds. For the game, Loyola scored 17 points off UIC's 19 turnovers, and saw its bench score 38 points. The Ramblers boasted a 41-29 rebounding advantage.

UIC will continue its four-game road trip next Tuesday, when the Flames travel to Valparaiso, Ind., to take on the first-place Crusaders (7 p.m. CST). Valpo will take on Youngstown State at the Beeghly Center tonight beginning at 6 p.m. CST.