Flames Come up Short at Dayton, 64-57

Barnes is averaging 19.7 points over the past three games.
Barnes is averaging 19.7 points over the past three games.

Dec. 23, 2011

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DAYTON, Ohio - Junior guard Daniel Barnes scored a game-high 17 points to lead three Flames in double figures, but host Dayton tallied a 64-57, come-from-behind victory over the UIC men's basketball team at UD Arena Friday night. The Flames led for nearly the entire first half, and trailed by just two points with 31 seconds remaining in the game.

With the setback, UIC moves to 4-8 on the season, while Dayton improves to 9-4.

Barnes hit three three-pointers, and dished out a career-high five assists versus just one turnover in a game-high 37 minutes. Senior center Darrin Williams added 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds, while junior point guard Gary Talton chipped in 11 points, and dished out a career-best seven assists. Dayton was led by Josh Benson's 13 points - he was joined in double figures by point guard Kevin Dillard, who chipped in 11 points and had four assists.

After two free throws by Barnes with 31 seconds remaining, UIC trailed by just one possession (59-57). He then missed a potential game-tying three-pointer with the Flames trailing by three (60-57) with only 22 seconds remaining and Dayton completed the comeback from the free throw line. There were a combined eight ties and lead changes in the game.

"We wanted to make sure we played solid, fundamental defense tonight," said UIC head coach Howard Moore. "I thought we did a decent job of trying to corral (Dayton's) Kevin Dillard on those ball screens. "That's not an easy thing to do. But I thought we did a good job of limiting their offense, the way they want to run it.

"We made it a possession game; it worked out in our favor, and gave us a chance to win. We got off to a poor start in the second half, and it ended up hurting us in the end. I'm proud of how my guys battled. This was a great venue for college basketball tonight, and we gave ourselves another chance to win on the road. We're not where we want to be, but we've played pretty well on the road as of late. We'll need to continue to do that as we resume Horizon League play."

The Flames successfully converted five-of their first seven shots, jumping out to an 11-7 lead at the initial media timeout (15:59) - Talton, Barnes, Hayden Humes and Marc Brown all aided in the effort. UIC's advantage was stretched to 26-17 with 6:01 remaining in the first half after the Flames completed a 9-2 run. During the flurry, freshman Greg Travis, Talton, Barnes and Williams all provided field goals.

Senior forward Paris Carter drilled a jumper from the elbow with 1:31 remaining in the stanza, helping the Flames preserve an eight-point (32-24) lead. But Dayton ended the half on a 5-0 run, with Devin Oliver providing all of the scoring, as the Flyers pulled within three, 32-29, heading into the locker room at halftime. Talton scored eight points, while Barnes chipped in with seven, in the opening 20 minutes.

Dayton opened the second half on a 7-0 spree, claiming their first lead (33-32) since the 18:10 mark of the first stanza. The Flyers' advantage was extended to a game-high nine points, 41-32, with 15:36 remaining following a jumper by Benson. But Barnes and Williams answered with back-to-back field goals, slicing Dayton's lead to just five (41-36) with 14:39 remaining.

UIC claimed its first lead (46-45) of the second half with 10:04 left, after Barnes capped off a 10-3 run with a three-pointer in front of the Flames' bench. Dayton countered with two free throws on the ensuing possession, and never trailed again. But the Flames cut the Flyers' lead to one possession several times down the stretch.

UIC had two opportunities to tie or take the lead over a 1:53 span, with Dayton clinging to a 57-55 advantage. With 1:37 remaining, Talton's three-pointer from the top key drew front iron, while Barnes missed a transition three-pointer from the left wing with 49 seconds remaining. Benson gave the Flyers a two-possession (59-55) lead with 37 seconds left, after making two freebies. Barnes then answered with the two aforementioned free throws on the other end, slicing the deficit to 59-57 with 31 seconds remaining.

The Flyers' Josh Parker split two free throws on the ensuing possession, giving Dayton a 60-57 advantage. Barnes' potential game-tying shot came up short with 22 seconds left. UD hit four free throws in the final 18 seconds to seal the seven-point victory.

UIC will return home to host Detroit in a Horizon League battle next Thursday (Dec. 29) beginning at 7 p.m. CST from the UIC Pavilion. The Titans are 6-8 (0-2 Horizon) on the season, and coming off an 80-56 win over Alabama State on Thursday