Flames Drop Heartbreaker at Wright State, 59-51

Story led the Flames with 14 points.
Story led the Flames with 14 points.

Jan. 24, 2013

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CHICAGO – Without the services of its starting point guard Terri Bender, the UIC women’s basketball team (6-11, 2-2) suffered a heartbreaking loss at Wright State (9-9, 3-2) by a final score of 59-51 on Thursday night at the Nutter Center.  The Flames were led by junior Rachel Story with 14 points, her 13th double-digit game of the season, and redshirt junior Katie Hannemann with 11 points.  Story also tied a career-high in rebounds with seven as Hannemann grabbed a team-high of nine.

UIC was successful in limiting Wright State’s Kim Demmings, the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year, to just 10 points and 3-of-18 from the field.  Neither team shot very well as the Raiders went 16-of-57 (28.1%) from the floor and UIC 20-of-64 (31.3%).  Over half of WSU’s attempts came from behind the arc, shooting 4-of-31 (12.9%) from long range.

Wright State enjoyed a huge advantage from the foul line, totaling 40 attempts compared to just 12 for the Flames.  WSU’s Ivory James finished the contest with 19 points as nine of those tallies came from the charity stripe.

“We got enough stops defensively, but we just didn’t finish on the offensive end,” said head coach Regina Miller.  “We missed a lot of easy buckets and we weren’t able to get to the foul line.”

The first half started slow with both teams combining for just six points on 3-of-14 shooting in the first four minutes of play.  At the 8:38 mark, Wright State took control with a 7-1 run, establishing a 15-9 lead.  Thirteen turnovers plagued UIC in the first half as well as the nine offensive rebounds that WSU collected.

The Flames tied the score at 16-16 with 4:48 remaining in the half, but then the Raiders administered another mini run of 8-2, extending their advantage to 24-18.

Wright State reached its largest lead of the first half of seven points (29-22) with 11 seconds on the ticker as James drilled a three from the right corner.  Sophomore Gisselle Truiett countered with a last-second jumper to pull the Flames to within five points before the break, 29-24.

Story paced the Flames at the half with nine points, while Hannemann was close behind with eight.  WSU was anchored by James who finished the first stanza with 15 points, including 7-of-8 from the free throw line.

The Flames began the second half on 7-2 run and took over the lead, 38-36, by the 14:43 mark.  UIC’s first three buckets of the period were from behind the arc, including two from junior Emily Kobel.

The score remained tight for much of the second half and was knotted at 47-47 with 4:18 left to play.  From that point, the Raiders executed an 11-2 run to go ahead 58-49 with 32 seconds left on the clock and the win essentially in hand.

UIC’s offense was stagnant down the stretch, hitting just two field goals in the final seven minutes and 51 seconds of the game and shot 2-of-11 in that span.

The Flames received quality time from freshman Marissa Grossfeld who logged 15 minutes and corralled five boards and three steals, both career-highs.

“Marissa was outstanding,” said Miller.  “I told her that in the locker room after the game.  Her and Gisselle (Truiett) gave us a spark off the bench with a lot of hustle plays and doing the little things.”

The Flames continue their road swing at Detroit on Saturday with tipoff scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.  The Titans defeated Loyola on Thursday night at home by a final of 76-66.