Bender Scores 20 in Second Half as UIC Defeats Loyola

Terri Bender nets 20 second-half points in the Flames 73-62 win against Loyola.
Terri Bender nets 20 second-half points in the Flames 73-62 win against Loyola.

Jan. 12, 2013

Final Stats Get Acrobat Reader

CHICAGO - Freshman Terri Bender set a new career-high with 20 points, all in the second half, as the UIC women's basketball team (5-10, 1-1) earned its first Horizon League win of the 2012-13 season against Loyola (5-9, 0-1) on Saturday afternoon by a final score of 73-62 at Gentile Arena.  Bender shot an impressive 7-of-8 from the field and 3-of-3 from the outside in the final period after not attempting a single shot in the first half. 

Junior Rachel Story racked up 20 points of her own, marking her fifth 20-point outing of the season.  Bender and Story combined for 32 of UIC's 40 second-half points as they were joined in double-digits by senior Taylor Foulks with 14 points for the game.

"Terri (Bender) stepped up to the challenge today," said head coach Regina Miller.  "She hit some huge shots and did a great job of leading the team."

Bender's 20 points is the most in any single half for the Flames since Nov. 15, 2011 when then-senior Jasmine Bailey put up 20 on SIUE in the first half.

UIC came ready to play and quickly jumped out to an 11-0 lead within the first three minutes of the contest.  The Flames drilled three treys in the opening run with two coming from Foulks as she scored eight of the Flames' first 13 points.  UIC was red-hot in the early goings, hitting 9-of-13 from the field and 3-of-3 from the outside.

Loyola cut UIC's lead down to five (22-17) by the 9:12 mark, but the Flames rattled off seven of next nine points to extend their advantage to 29-19 with under eight minutes to play in the first half. 

The Ramblers closed out the first period on a 15-4 run to go in front 34-33 at the break.  The Flames experienced a severe scoring drought, recording their last bucket at the 3:59 mark.  Albano posted seven points over the final six minutes of the half to pilot the Loyola spurt.  Albano and freshman Taylor Johnson combined to score 24 of LU's 34 first-half points and shot 11-of-19 from the floor.  The rest of Loyola's team went 3-of-8 from the field in the first period. 

Foulks paced UIC at half with 10 points, being closely followed by Story with eight and Megan Wallace with six.  The trio combined to shoot 10-of-18 from the field in the opening stanza.

Story began the second half with a three-point play and Flames jumped in front by one, 35-34.  Over the next four-and-a-half minutes, the game would be tied on four separate occasions with five lead changes.

Loyola pull ahead by five (49-44) with 13:51 left to play in part of a 9-2 run as the Ramblers sank seven free throws during that stretch.   

The Flames came storming back and knotted the score at 54-54 by the 8:28 mark as freshman Terri Bender knocked down her second three of the half.  Foulks gave UIC the lead on the ensuing possession, hitting the front end of two free throws. 

The Flames carried that momentum into a 16-4 run over the next six minutes, including back-to-back threes from Foulks and Bender, to build a 67-58 edge with 2:33 on the clock.

Story sealed the victory, going 5-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final minute as Loyola failed to convert on the offensive end.  Story dished out a game-high seven assists as Wallace grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, tying her all-time best mark.

"Our conditioning and execution level really showed in the second half," said Miller.  "It's a game of runs and I thought we responded well to Loyola in the second half."

UIC shot a season-high 27-of-51 (52.9%) from the field and 8-of-16 (50.0%) from behind the arc, while limiting LU to just 20-of-50 (40.0%) from the floor and 3-of-18 (16.7%) from three.

The Flames will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 19 as they return home to face Valparaiso at 3 p.m. CT.