Flames Comeback Falls Short Against UC-Riverside, 57-56

Sophomore Jake Wiegand finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore Jake Wiegand finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Dec. 20, 2013

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RIVERSIDE, Calif.– The UIC men’s basketball team (5-7) came back from a 10-point second half deficit and held a 56-55 lead after Kelsey Barlow sank a runner with 9.1 seconds remaining, but UC-Riverside (4-6) converted a layup with 2.6 on the clock to cement to the Highlander victory, 57-56. Barlow attempted a half-court shot as time expired that rimmed in and out.  The senior finished with a game-high 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Sophomore Jake Wiegand just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine boards as senior Hayden Humes chipped in 11 on 3-of-5 shooting from the outside.  Senior Jordan Harks scored all 10 of his points in the first half, totaling six double-digit efforts this season.

After hitting their first six shots to start the game, the Flames went cold, making just 4-of-21 for the rest of the half.  UC-Riverside received 16 points from its bench in the first period, 12 from senior Chris Patton, and closed out the first half on a 9-3 to hold a 33-26 lead at the break.  The Highlanders also posted 24 of their 33 first half points in the paint compared to UIC’s 12.  Patton ended the night with a team-high 15 points, while sophomore Taylor Johns recorded 12 points and 10 boards.

UIC struggled in the opening minutes of the second period and found themselves in a 10-point hole by the 16:05 mark.  That’s when the Flames ripped off a 14-3 run, including nine points from Barlow, to regain the lead, 44-43, with 12:06 left to play.  UIC stayed in control until the 3:09 mark when UCR’s Sam Finley drained a three to put the Highlanders up one.

The score remained deadlocked for three minutes until Barlow swished a runner with 9.1 seconds left to give UIC a 56-55 edge.  UCR’s Gruninger answered and took back the one-point lead with a contested layup as 2.6 ticks were left on the clock.  UIC gave the ball to Barlow on the in-bound as his last-second half-court shot attempt rattled out.

The Flames next travel to Colorado State for a matchup on Dec. 23, starting at 8 p.m. CT.  UIC defeated the Rams last season at home by a final of 64-55.