Milwaukee Eliminates UIC From Horizon League Tourney, 68-55

Williams scored 10 points in his final game at UIC.
Williams scored 10 points in his final game at UIC.

Feb. 28, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - The Flames placed three players in double figures, but fourth-seeded Milwaukee raced out to an early 19-6 lead, and held off a second-half surge to post a convincing 68-55 win over the UIC men's basketball team in the first-round of the Horizon League Tournament Tuesday night at the Klotsche Center.

With the setback, UIC finished the 2011-12 campaign with an 8-22 record (3-15 Horizon). Milwaukee collected its 20th win (20-12), and advances to Friday's quarterfinals, where the Panthers will take on fifth-seeded Butler at the Athletics-Recreation Center (ARC) in Valparaiso, Ind.

Sophomore forward Hayden Humes scored a team-high 14 points, eclipsing double-digits in scoring for the seventh time in the past nine games - he was joined in double figures by junior point guard Gary Talton (11) and senior center Darrin Williams, who chipped in 10 points in his final game at UIC. Milwaukee was led by James Haarsma, who poured in a game-high 18 points; Ryan Allen also scored 17.

UIC scored the game's first points (2-0) after Williams converted in the post. Over the ensuing 13:14, however, Milwaukee went on a commanding 34-4 run, claiming a 34-6 lead with 5:33 remaining in the half. The Flames were able to pull within 35-14 heading into the locker room at halftime after finishing the frame on an 8-1 run.

The Flames sliced Milwaukee's lead to just 14 points (35-21) with 17:56 remaining, but could draw no closer despite scoring 41 points, the largest single-half total since scoring 43 points in the second half at Loyola (2/11/12). UIC shot 42.9 percent from the field in the second half, compared to just a 22.2 percent output in the opening frame.

UIC is set to return four starters from the 2011-12 campaign next season, including its top-two scorers (Talton, Daniel Barnes), and four-of-its top-five (Humes, Marc Brown).