Men's Basketball Edges Evansville, 77-73, In Home Opener
Nov. 25, 2003
Chicago, Ill. - Cedrick Banks scored 25 points and Martell Bailey dished out a career-high 15 assists to lead the University of Illinois at Chicago to a 77-73 victory over Evansville in its home opener at the UIC Pavilion on Tuesday night.
The game was tight throughout, but Aaron Carr sealed the win for UIC with two free throws with :08 left to give the Flames (4-1) their second straight victory over the Purple Aces (0-2) after playing them just five days ago in Evansville.
Carr was one of three UIC players to finish in double figures, tabbing 14 points and seven rebounds. Senior center Joe Scott pitched in 10 points for the Flames, who are off to their first 4-1 start since the 1997-98 season.
Bailey's 15 dishes tied Eddie Stacks for third on the school's all-time single game assists list. The senior point guard also had six points and six rebounds while committing just one turnover on the night.
"I don't think I can ever remember seeing a guy with 15 assists and just one turnover," UIC Head Coach Jimmy Collins said. "Not that it suprises me, though.
"Martell is a great leader and he did a great job tonight."
For the second straight game UIC trailed by a three-point margin at intermission, as Evansville led 46-43 at the half. The Flames then outscored Evansville 34-27 the rest of the way.
The Purple Aces shot 60% from the field in the opening period, including a torrid 78% (7-for-9) mark from three-point range. But Evansville cooled down after halftime, shooting just 32% from the floor in the final 20 minutes.
Clint Cuffle led Evansville with 25 points on 9-for-18 shooting, including hitting five of his eight three-point tries. Lucious Wagner and Deywane Lee each scored in 10 in the losing cause.
Rookie Elliott Poole made his first career start on Tuesday, tabbing six points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes of work.
The Flames return to action this Saturday, November 29th when they take on Texas-San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas. Tip-off is at 2 p.m.