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    Men's Basketball Defeated In Opening Round Of NIT

    Armond Williams scored 18 points for Illinois-Chicago, Wednesday.
    Armond Williams scored 18 points for Illinois-Chicago, Wednesday.
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    March 19, 2003

    Box Score

    KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Mike Williams scored 10 of Western Michigan's last 17 points and had a key rebound in the final minute as the Broncos defeated UIC 63-62 in an opening-round NIT game Wednesday night at University Arena.

    Anthony Kann scored 19 points and Williams had 17, leading four Western players in double figures.

    Western, winning in the NIT for the first time in school history, will play Siena, a winner Tuesday over Villanova, on a date yet to be announced.

    Cedrick Banks and Armond Williams each scored 18 for UIC, which finished its second consecutive 20-win season at 21-9.

    Western (20-10) led by as many as 10 points, but needed a free throw by Kann with 5 seconds left to clinch it. Kann's free throw gave Western a four-point edge.

    The Flames' Aaron Carr hit a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.

    Kann's 13 rebounds gave him his ninth double-double of the season, leading a 47-rebound attack by Western.

    Down 47-37 with 11:43 left, UIC stormed back with a 7-2 run that gave the Flames their only second-half lead, 59-58, on a 3-point play by Joe Scott with 3:03 left. But Mike Williams scored the next basket and Western never trailed again.

    The Broncos made nine of their last 12 free throws.