UIC Defeats Chicago State for First-Ever Postseason Win, 80-69

Senior center Josh Crittle
Senior center Josh Crittle

March 20, 2013

UIC 80, Chicago State 69 (Final Stats)Get Acrobat Reader

CHICAGO - The UIC men's basketball team built a 22-point first-half lead, and held off a second half rally by visiting Chicago State to post an 80-69 win over the Cougars in the first-round of the Postseason Tournament Wednesday night at the Pavilion. The Flames advanced to the second round of the CIT, where they will take on Northern Iowa at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa on Saturday night.

UIC improved to 18-15 on the season, and collected its first-ever postseason win. Chicago State ended its season with an 11-22 record.

Senior guard Daniel Barnes collected his first-career double-double with a game-high 22 points to go along with a career-best 10 rebounds. Senior center Josh Crittle scored 17 points and pulled down nine boards; junior forward Hayden Humes scored 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting, and senior point guard Gary Talton chipped in 12 points to go along with eight assists. Chicago State was led by Matt Ross' 19 points on six three-pointers.

"It was a hard fought game today with a lot at stake," said head coach Howard Moore. "I'm proud of how my guys battled in the second half, because we knew there was going to be a surge. Their elevated defensive intensity got us rattled a little bit, but we got ourselves together when it mattered and made free throws down the stretch.

"It's definitely nice to make history tonight and win our first-ever postseason game, but it's also nice to enjoy a win after the gut-wrenching loss we had in our last game against Green Bay. Our guys are enjoying playing together, and are ready to extend this season as long as they can."

UIC led 46-30 at halftime, building a game-high 22-point (44-22) lead with 2:49 remaining. Barnes (12), Crittle (11) and Humes (10) all scored in double figures in the opening 20:00.

Chicago State scored six-of the final eight points of the first half, and carried that momentum over to the outset of the second stanza. The Cougars opened the frame on an 11-3 run, pulling within 49-41 with 15:07 remaining. During the spurt, both teams were whistled for a pair of technical fouls after a short altercation. Crittle was relegated to the bench after picking up his third personal foul.

The Cougars responded with a commanding 18-10 spree, tying the score (59-59) with 7:30 left - Ross had three triples during the run. Leading scorer Quinton Pippen gave CSU a 61-59 lead at the 7:00 mark, but UIC scored the ensuing nine points, opening up a 68-61 advantage with 3:45 remaining. The Cougars pulled back within four (70-66) with 3:00 showing on the clock, but could draw no closer down the stretch. UIC went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the final 2:53.

Tip-off between UIC and Northern Iowa is slated for 7:00 p.m. CST on Saturday night. UIC holds a slight 11-10 all-time series advantage over UNI.