Flames Drop Heartbreaker versus Bradley in BracketBusters|
Feb. 23, 2013
With the loss, the Flames dropped to 15-13 on the season. Bradley improves to 16-13 overall. Senior guard Daniel Barnes scored a team-high 18 points on seven field goals, and was joined in double figures by sophomore wing Marc Brown (13 points). Bradley's Walt Lemon Jr. led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting.
UIC led 54-43 with 5:41 remaining, but didn't convert another field goal until the 1:57 mark. During that stretch, Bradley went on a 14-4 run to claim a one-point (59-58) lead with 2:13 remaining. The Braves corralled eight offensive rebounds in the final 3:53, leading to eight points.
"I was proud of our guys' effort today, but this loss came down to simple defensive principles," said UIC head coach Howard Moore. "Down the stretch, our defense was not in position to step over and help, or to block out and rebound. We needed one rebound at the end to win the game, and we weren't able to get it."
Senior point guard Gary Talton continued his late-game heroics, converting a spinning layup with 37.8 seconds remaining to give UIC a 62-61 lead. But Eastman converted the game-winner after UIC failed to squeeze a pair of defensive rebounds.
Brown blocked Dyricus Simms-Edwards' shot with 20 seconds left, but Simms Edwards tracked down his own miss. Lemon Jr. then missed a contested perimeter jumper from the right wing, but Shayok Shayok grabbed the carom after a scrum on the floor - he dished the ball off to Eastman, who laid the ball in from the right baseline. Talton's last second half-court shot did not draw iron.
UIC led 30-23 at halftime after going on an 8-1 run to end the frame. Freshman forward Jake Wiegand gave the Flames a lift off the bench during the spurt, scoring six points in a 2:30 span. Barnes scored 12 points in the first half, bolstered by a pair of three-pointers. Lemon Jr. had seven first half points to lead Bradley's offensive effort.
The Flames opened the second half on a 9-3 run, claiming a game-high 12-point (39-27) lead with 16:56 left. Bradley pulled within four points four times in the ensuing 8:56, but the Flames went back up by 11 points (54-43) with 5:41 remaining after senior center Josh Crittle converted a conventional three-point play. The Braves out-scored UIC 20-8 down the stretch to preserve the last second win.
UIC dropped to 8-2 all-time in BracketBusters games in the final iteration of the series. The Flames will jump back into Horizon League play Tuesday, when Wright State visits the Pavilion for a 7:00 p.m. tip. With a win over the Raiders, the Flames would secure home-court advantage in the first-round of the Horizon League Tournament.