Flames Triumph at Home, 88-61, for Second Straight Win
Dec. 17, 2013
CHICAGO - The UIC men's basketball team (5-6) picked up its second straight win on Tuesday night in an 88-61 drumming against Purdue Calumet (9-3) inside the UIC Pavilion. The Flames totaled five players in double figures as senior Jordan Harks led the way with season-highs of 15 points and 12 rebounds, his second double-double of the year. Harks was nearly perfect from the field, hitting seven of his eight shot attempts. Freshman Pat Birt and sophomore Jake Wiegand collected career-highs with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
UIC jumped out quick by scoring the first four points and built a double-digit lead just over 10 minutes into the game. The Flames used a 24-4 run midway through the first half to take a 40-15 advantage and went into the locker ahead, 43-19. The Peregrine's 19 first-half points stands as the lowest opponent output in any half against Flames this season.
"This was an important game for us," said Head Coach Howard Moore. "We really wanted to establish our home-court advantage again and tonight we took a step in that direction. Overall, I was pleased with the effort. We're starting to gel and I'm excited about this team's potential. I think tonight shows that we have more than just one good player on our roster. If we keep focusing on our defensive principles then that will continue to feed our offense."
UIC worked the interior all night, netting more than half of their team total in the paint and outscored Purdue Calumet 50-22, UIC's second-highest sum this season. Those inside looks gave the Flames a 55.2 percent shooting mark (32-of-58), compared to just 34.5 percent (20-of-58) for the Peregrines, UIC's lowest opponent mark this year.
The Flames recorded a season-high 12 steals and forced 18 PUC turnovers, converting those miscues into 25 points. Harks tied a career-high with three steals as Birt, Humes and Jay Parker collected two apiece.
Senior Kelsey Barlow posted his second consecutive game with eight assists, tying a career-high as he has now led UIC in helpers in all but one game this season. Barlow, the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week, entered the matchup averaging 25 points per contest in his last four games, but was held to nine points tonight.
The Flames displayed superb offensive balance as eight players recorded five or more points, while UIC dished off a season-best 18 assists. Eighty eight points is UIC's second-highest output this season.
Freshman Frank Dounis drained a pair of free throws late in the game to record his first collegiate points.
UIC returns to action on Friday, Dec. 20 at UC-Riverside before heading to Colorado State on Dec. 23.