Second-Half Surge Leads Men's Basketball Past Northern Illinois, 86-69
Dec. 15, 2001
Chicago, Ill. - It must have been some halftime speech.
Heading into the intermission, UIC trailed Northern Illinois 35-33, despite being out-rebounded 29-9, including 13 offensive boards that translated into 11 second chance points.
"All we did was read over the stat sheet and talk about the adjustments we needed to make," UIC Head Coach Jimmy Collins said of his halftime speech to the team. "I told some guys they needed to step up.
"I think they responded."
After shooting a paltry 33 percent in the first half, UIC came out blazing in the final twenty minutes, outscoring the Huskies 51-34 to earn the 86-69 victory in front of 3,943 at the UIC Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, UIC remained perfect at home (5-0) and improved to 5-2 on the season. Northern Illinois fell to 1-6 with the loss.
"This was a very tough game," Collins said. "Someone reading the paper tomorrow might think this was an easy game for us, but (Northern Illinois) really came out strong and we couldn't keep them off the boards."
Senior guard Jordan Kardos led all scorers with a season-high 18 points and converted all four of his three-point attempts. The Flames also received solid performances from Jon-Pierre Mitchom (14 points), Thor Solverson (14 points) and Aaron Carr (11 points).
Trailing 43-40 in the second half, UIC went on a 13-0 run, led by five points from Kardos and four from Mitchom, to take a 53-43 lead that they would not relinquish.
"We really had the upper hand in the attack mode in the first half," Northern Illinois coach Rob Judson said. "But it really shifted in the second half."
Leon Rodgers paced the Huskies, with 17 points (10-for-12 FT) and 13 rebounds.
UIC will be back in action on Monday, as they will travel to West Lafayette, Indiana to square off with Purdue in the first round of the Las Vegas Classic at 6:30 p.m., CST.