Flames Go Distance With Defending National Runner-Up Ottawa
Aug. 13, 2014
OTTAWA – The UIC men’s basketball team gave the University of Ottawa, the defending national runner-up, a run for its money on Wednesday night after the Flames led for a majority of the contest in their first game of a Canadian exhibition tour. The Gee-Gees ultimately prevailed by a final of 79-76 inside their home gym Montpetit Hall after hitting six fourth-quarter threes. UIC junior Gabe Snider poured in a game-high 28 points on 8-of-12 three-point shooting, while Ottawa was paced by Johnny Berhanemeskel with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting.
The exhibition contest featured four 10-minute quarters, a 24-second shot clock and also applied FIBA-style rules.
“I am very pleased with what I saw tonight,” said head coach Howard Moore. “Ottawa is a tremendously talented team and its program is highly respected. It’s a little frustrating to drop a close game like that, but there were a lot of positives to take away. We played with great energy and effort especially against a team that just scored 109 points against Indiana. This is a great trip for our guys right now as we continue to bond and grow as teammates.”
The first quarter mimicked a three-point competition as eight of the first 10 field goals were triples. UIC’s first five baskets came from downtown, including two from Snider and a pair from junior Jason McClellan. McClellan, a 6-foot-9 transfer from Eastern Wyoming College, finished the night with nine points and six rebounds.
The Flames held a one-point lead after the first quarter, but fell back by six points mid-way through the second stanza. UIC closed out the first half on a 10-2 run and owned a 40-37 advantage at the break.
UIC continued to roll in the third quarter and reached its first 10-point lead by the 5:09 mark. Senior Ahman Fells scored six of his 10 points in the third period and finished the game with four dunks. Senior Jay Parker also played well with a game-high 10 assists and just one turnover.
By the 1:32 mark in the third quarter, UIC paced Ottawa by 13 points, however an 8-2 Gee-Gees run brought the count to 60-53 before the final period.
The Flames remained in front for most of the fourth quarter until Ottawa knotted the score at 73-73 with 3:28 left to play. The game would tie up once more before Berhanemeskel hit the game-winning three with 38 seconds on the clock, giving Ottawa its third-straight win against a NCAA team.
The Gee-Gees upended Indiana on Sunday night by a final of 109-101 and defeated Vermont on Monday, 73-66. Ottawa finishes exhibition play on Sunday against Memphis.
The Flames resume competition tomorrow at defending national champion Carleton University with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Stayed tuned to UICFlames.com for recaps and results and be sure to follow the UIC men’s basketball team on twitter at @UICFlamesMBB for live-scoring updates.