Flames Comeback Falls Short Against UC-Riverside, 57-56
Dec. 20, 2013
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.