Flames Outlast NIU for Second-Straight Home Win, 62-55

Daniel Barnes
Daniel Barnes

Dec. 10, 2011

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CHICAGO - Freshman Marc Brown scored a game-high 15 points to lead three Flames in double figures, and the UIC men's basketball team pulled away late to post a 62-55 win over in-state rival Northern Illinois at the UIC Pavilion Saturday afternoon.

With the win, UIC improves to 3-5 on the season, and has won two-straight home games. NIU drops to 0-8.

Brown's scoring output came on a 3-of-5 effort from three-point range, along with going 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Junior guard Daniel Barnes added 12 points on four three-pointers, while junior point guard Gary Talton contributed 11 points and four assists. NIU was led by Antone Christian and Keith Gray, who each chipped in 11 points.

"It was a typical Chicagoland grinder today," said head coach Howard Moore. "A lot of these guys played against each other in high school and AAU; there was a lot of familiarity there. It was a hard-fought victory for our guys; they really stepped up. Gary (Talton) was a good floor general; Marc (Brown) hit some big shots down the stretch, and some big free throws. Danny (Barnes) got us going in the first half, and we grinded out a good team win."

The game started out as a back-and-forth affair, with the scored tied, 9-9, through the opening five minutes. NIU then went on a decisive 10-0 run, claiming a 19-9 lead with 10:17 remaining. UIC charged back with seven-straight points, trimming the deficit to just three, 19-16, with 9:20 left in the opening half. Greg Travis, Barnes and senior center Darrin Williams each had field goals in the spurt.

The Huskies extended their lead to 25-20 after a field goal by Tyler Storm with 4:12 remaining in the stanza. But Brown answered with five-straight points, spearheaded by his first three, to tie the game, 25-25, with 2:12 left. NIU scored the half's final points, taking a 27-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Huskies scored the first four points of the second half, claiming a 31-25 advantage with 17:25 remaining. UIC answered with a 7-2 spree, taking a 35-33 lead with 14:27 left - Hayden Humes capped off the run with a tip-in. There were a combined five ties and lead changes in the ensuing 4:17; before UIC claimed a 42-38 advantage after Matt Bush drilled a three-pointer in front of UIC's bench.

NIU never led again, but pulled within two, 50-48, with 3:34 remaining, after stringing together an 8-1 run. Senior Paris Carter scored on back-to-back possessions to give the Flames a 54-49 advantage with 1:17 left, and UIC went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 38 seconds.

UIC will hit the road to take on Oregon State on Tuesday night (Dec. 13), beginning at 9 p.m. CST.