Men's Hoops Comes up Short at Eastern Michigan in Opener, 68-57

Paris Carter tallied his second-career double-double.
Paris Carter tallied his second-career double-double.

Nov. 11, 2011

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CHICAGO -Senior forward Paris Carter tallied his second-career double-double with a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds, but host Eastern Michigan out-scored the UIC men's basketball team 21-10 over the final 8:25, leading to a 68-57 win over the Flames in the regular season opener for both teams at the Convocation Center Friday night.

Former EMU transfer Daniel Barnes added a career-best 10 points (4-12) for the Flames, while freshmen guards Marc Brown and Greg Travis chipped in nine and six points, respectively, in their collegiate debuts. Junior point guard Gary Talton scored two points, pulled down four rebounds and dished out three assists against zero turnovers in his first-career start.

Eastern Michigan placed three players in double figures, led by Derek Thompson's 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. The Flames shot 43.5 percent from the field in the first half, and trailed by just one point (27-26) after the opening 20:00. There were a combined 17 ties and lead changes in the game.

Both teams shot the ball at better than a 40 percent clip in the first half. UIC converted 10 field goals, with five players scratching the scoring column. Barnes scored seven points, while senior center Darrin Williams chipped in six. The Eagles jumped out to a 16-10 lead mid-way through the stanza (9:40), before UIC mounted an 11-4 run to take a 21-20 lead at the 4:11 mark of the half. Barnes and senior Matt Bush both found holes in EMU's 2-3 zone defense, and converted three-point shots during the stretch.

EMU grabbed the lead back, and claimed a 27-21 advantage with 1:55 left in the opening stanza after a jumper by Darrell Lampley. But Brown and Barnes combined to score five points in the ensuing 1:34, helping the Flames pull within the one possession (27-26) at halftime.

The Flames caught fire early in the second half, going on a commanding 12-4 run to take a 38-31 lead with 16:48 remaining, and forcing EMU head coach Rob Murphy into a timeout. UIC held the lead for the ensuing 7:44, before a 10-4 run by the Eagles tied the game at 47-47 with 8:25 left. Travis drove the length of the floor two possessions later, and finished in traffic to give UIC a 49-48 lead at the 7:37 mark.

A tip-in by Antonio Green on EMU's next possession gave the Eagles a 50-49 lead that they would not relinquish. The Flames cut the deficit to just one possession three times in the ensuing two and a half minutes, but could draw no closer than two points. After two converted free throws by Brown, UIC trailed by just four (59-55) with 3:14 remaining. But the Eagles finished off the victory by hitting seven free throws in the final 59 seconds.

POSTGAME NOTEBOOK:: Junior Gary Talton, sophomore Hayden Humes and freshmen Marc Brown, Will Simonton and Greg Travis all played their first-career games in a UIC uniform ... Brown scored nine points (2-9), while Talton scored two points (1-5), pulled down four rebounds and dished out three assists against zero turnovers ... The Flames were 4-of-20 from three-point range (.200) in the game, with Barnes (2), senior Matt Bush (1) and Brown (1) all hitting threes ... UIC shot 61.1 percent from the free throw line (11-18) ... The Flames, who were the top offensive rebounding team in the Horizon League last season, corralled 15 offensive rebounds against the Eagles ... UIC was forced into 20 turnovers ... Making his return to Eastern Michigan, Barnes' line read as follows: 10 points (4-12 FG, 2-8 on 3-Pt. FGs), three assists, four steals ... Williams scored eight points, six in the first half, and pulled down five rebounds to go along with three blocks ... The Flames dropped their road opener for the fourth-straight season ... UIC is now 0-4 all-time against Eastern Michigan.