UIC Goes Down Fighting in 73-63 Defeat at Valparaiso
March 4, 2014
VALPARAISO, Ind. – The ninth-seeded UIC men’s basketball team (6-25) concluded its season on Tuesday night with a 73-63 defeat against No. 4 seed Valparaiso (18-14) in the opening round of the Horizon League Tournament. Valpo led by as much as 15 points late in the first half, but the Flames kept scraping and pulled to within three with 6:29 left to play. Less than one minute later, senior Kelsey Barlow was whistled for his fourth foul and then received a technical based on his reaction, forcing him to exit the contest. With Barlow out of the game, the Crusaders outscored the Flames 12-5 down the stretch as they advanced to the HL quarterfinals to face No. 5 seed Milwaukee.
Junior Marc Brown paced UIC in scoring with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while senior Jordan Harks and Barlow chipped in 14 and 11, respectively. Junior Jay Parker also reached double figures with 10. The Crusaders were led by Alec Peters who poured in 29 points on 10-of-11 shooting.
“I’ve said this all season, but I am proud of our guys with how they never give up,” said UIC Head Coach Howard Moore. “There have been plenty of moments where it would have been easy to stop fighting, but this team never did that and they didn’t stop fighting tonight.”
The Flames were off the mark in the first half as they shot just 36 percent from the floor compared to Valpo’s 56 percent. UIC scored six of the final eight points of the first period to cut the Crusader’s lead down to 39-28 before halftime.
After scoring just two points in the first half, Barlow netted nine in the final stanza and sank a crucial three-pointer to chop Valpo’s lead down to 58-52 with 8:15 to play. Barlow finished his Flame’s career with 458 points, 121 assists and 31 steals, standing as the only Horizon League player to lead his team in all three categories. The Indianapolis native also severs as the lone league player to average more than 14 points, five rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.
Harks had 11 of his 14 points in the second half and six straight for UIC during a two-minute stretch late in the second period. Harks ended the season with a field goal shooting mark of 60.5 percent, which ranks second among all conference players and now sits third all-time on UIC’s single-season leaderboard. Harks also led the team in rebounding with an average of 5.6 caroms per outing.
Senior Hayden Humes recorded his 127th three-ball tonight, ranking 10th all-time on UIC’s career leaderboard. Humes recorded 970 points during his four-year career and grabbed 604 rebounds, 787 and 440 with the Flames, respectively. He also helped guide UIC to its first-ever postseason victory last year in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
“I’d like to thank our three seniors for their hard work and commitment to this program,” said Moore. “I want them all to know that they will always have a home here at UIC.”