UIC's Comeback Falls Short Against Oakland, 86-71|
Feb. 21, 2014
CHICAGO – The UIC men’s basketball team (5-23, 0-14) mounted a furious comeback against Oakland (11-18, 6-8) on Friday night, pulling to within eight points on a 16-0 run after being down 27 early in the second half, but the Golden Grizzlies ultimately pulled out an 86-71 victory. Oakland guard Travis Bader, the NCAA’s all-time leader in made threes, piloted the Golden Grizzlies with 28 points on 12-of-13 from the foul line.
Senior Hayden Humes ripped off back-to-back threes during the Flames’ offensive spurt and finished the contest with a season-high 16 points, all in the second half. Senior Kelsey Barlow scored eight points and tied a career high with eight assists, his third-straight game with six or more helpers.
“We played well for five minutes tonight,” said Head Coach Howard Moore. “If we played for the other 35 minutes then we would be okay. I truly appreciate the fans who keep coming out to support this program, and that’s what breaks my heart the most. But please believe me, this is going to get fixed. People who know me know how committed I am to fixing this. That’s my pledge and that’s my promise.”
Oakland came out red-hot to start the game, connecting on 9-of-15 from downtown in the first half, including 4-of-5 from Bader. The Grizzlies shot 17-of-26 (65.4%) from the floor in the opening period compared to just 8-of-23 (34.8%) for UIC. Behind 16 points from Bader, OU held a 45-24 lead at the half.
The Grizzlies kept their foot on the throttle and held a 57-30 lead by the 15:17 in the second half. Both teams traded buckets over the next several minutes until the Flames’ 16-0 run which started at the 5:06 mark. Gabe Snider began the surge with a triple and was followed by a three from Marc Brown. After Barlow sank a free throw, Humes scored eight straight points and had pulled UIC to within nine. Jake Wiegand cut the lead to 72-64 after a made foul shot with 2:35 on the clock, but Bader gave Oakland a 10-point edge after a pair of free throws. The Flames cut the lead back down to eight on two separate occasions in the next 52 seconds, but the Grizzlies closed out the night on an 8-2 run for the win.
UIC out-rebounded Oakland on the offensive glass by a margin of 15-7, and scored 20 second-chance points. Wiegand pulled down five of those offensive rebounds as he corralled a team-high nine boards.
Barlow surpassed the 900-career point plateau in the first half tonight as he sat at 899 before the contest.
The Flames received at least two points from all 12 players who saw action in the game. Freshman Marcus White netted his first-collegiate three-pointer in the second half and tied a season-best with four assists.
UIC returns to action on Feb. 25 at Milwaukee with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.