Men's Basketball Defeats Indiana State, 70-54, In Season Opener|
Nov 18, 2001
CHICAGO - Preseason expectations were high for head coach Jimmy Collins and the UIC men's basketball team.
On Sunday night at the UIC Pavilion, the Flames (1-0) arguably exceeded those expectations in an impressive 70-54 victory over Indiana State (0-1), a team that advanced into the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, in front of 4,170 in attendance.
"This was a total team effort," said Collins of the win. "Everyone contributed in a positive manner. Everyone had a lot of energy against a very tough team and we came out and answered the bell."
Banks came off the bench for the Flames and scored 12 points, while Bailey played the role of distributor, delivering a game-high 11 assists, to go along with nine points.
Junior sharpshooter Jonathan Schneiderman led the Flames in scoring with 14 points, including three of his four three-pointers coming in the pivotal first half.
"I made it a point to be in shape this season knowing I'd be playing with these guys (Bailey and Banks)," Schneiderman said. "Coach gives me the opportunity to run through screens and when I do that Martell and Cedrick will find you."
After Indiana State's Kelyn Block hit a jumper with 14:13 left in the first-half to make it 12-9 in favor of the Sycamores, UIC went on a 25-7 run to open up the game. The Flames forced Indiana State into nine first-half turnovers, converting them into 11 points.
It was more of the same in the second-half, as Bailey and Schneiderman orchestrated the offense to near perfection, while the Flames board-game excelled, finishing the game with 19 offensive rebounds to Indiana State's six.
"The miracle midgets came through for us both offensively and defensively," said Collins of Bailey and Schneiderman. "They really exhibited leadership out there for us."
Sycamore head coach Royce Waltman was impressed with the Flames tempo after the loss.
"UIC played real well and at a great pace," Waltman said. "They just overwhelmed us up and down the floor. I'm not much for stats but if you look at their offensive rebounds and at Bailey's assists you can kind of tell how this game went."
Block led the Sycamores with 15 points on the evening, while UIC's Thor Solverson added 10 points.
There was one bit of misfortune for the Flames on the night, as junior forward Joe Scott left 90 seconds into the game with a right knee injury on a dunk attempt. The unfortunate injury will be evaluated further on Monday.
The Flames will look to start the season 2-0 on Wednesday, Nov. 21, as they welcome St. Joseph's College of Indiana to the UIC Pavilion at 7:00 p.m.