Flames Fall In USF Holiday Classic Championship
Dec 29, 2001
Tampa, Fla. - In basketball, size matters.
The UIC men's basketball team learned that first hand on Saturday afternoon as South Florida used its length - four starters at 6-foot-6 or taller - and its pressing style to edge the Flames, 82-78, in the championship game of the 2001 USF Holiday Classic at the USF Sun Dome.
"We're not a big team, but we do hustle and play hard" UIC Head Coach Jimmy Collins said after the game. "Sometimes it is just very difficult for us to match-up versus a team like this."
The Flames match-up problems centered around USF's forward duo of Altron Jackson (6'6'') and B.B. Waldon (6'8'') as the pair combined for 36 points, 24 rebounds, 10 assists and eight steals in the game. Jackson finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds while Walson just missed a quadruple double with 11 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals.
The Bulls' length also led to a 48-33 rebounding edge while forcing UIC into 16 turnovers.
Despite this, senior Jordan Kardos kept the Flames close, netting a season-high 25 points, shooting 8-for-13 from the field. Junior Jonathan Schneiderman also got into the mix late in the game, nailing four second-half treys to finish with 15 points. Senior Thor Solverson led UIC with seven rebounds, but the 6-foot-11 center was held scoreless in the game.
UIC was leading 39-37 early in the second half when Jackson scored all of the Bulls' points in a 9-2 run. South Florida would never trail again, going up by as many 12 points down the stretch.
The Bulls were leading 77-65 with three minutes remaining when
UIC closed out the game with a 13-5 run. Flames guards Jordan
Kardos and Jonathan Schneiderman provided all the points during the final
rally, with Schneiderman sinking three 3-point goals.
USF held on, though, thanks to a layup by Waldon, two free throws from Gerrick Morris and the final charity tosses from Greg Brittian.
With the loss, the Flames remained winless in enemy territory this season (0-4) and are now 8-5 on the year. South Florida, meanwhile, moved to 9-2 with the win, claiming the USF Holiday Classic title for the second-straight year.
The Flames will open Horizon League action after the New Year as they kick things off by welcoming Detroit to the UIC Pavilion on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 7:00 p.m.