Comeback Complete in OT Fashion against WSU, 81-78

Redshirt junior Katie Hannemann
Redshirt junior Katie Hannemann

Feb. 21, 2013

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CHICAGO – Facing a 17-point deficit with less than six minutes to play, the UIC women’s basketball team (8-14, 4-7) outscored Wright State (10-15, 4-8), 22-5, down the stretch to force overtime where the Flames eventually pulled out the 81-78 Horizon League victory on Thursday night at the UIC Pavilion.  Redshirt junior Katie Hannemann went off for a career-high 35 points, the highest single-game output for UIC since Jan. 19, 2002 (Jaysie Chambers – 36).  Hannemann also corralled a career-high 15 rebounds to lead all players.

“I was really happy with the effort,” said head coach Regina Miller.  “When we were down big late in the second half, we were either going to give in or dig in and we chose to fight our way back.  Tonight was a huge confidence builder that we do deserve to win some of these close games.”

Freshman Marissa Grossfeld backed up her career-high 12-point performance at Valpo last Saturday with another solid outing against the Raiders, recording 11 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes of action. 

“I thought Marissa was a difference maker tonight,” said head coach Regina Miller.  “She is a hard-nosed player that works hard in practice and now has had the opportunity to put that in the game.”

Senior Taylor Foulks joined Hannemann and Grossfeld in double-digits with 12 points, which brings her career total to 981.

UIC and Wright State experienced early-offensive woes as both teams combined to shoot 4-of-29 from the field in the first eight minutes of the game.  WSU was able to manufacture a 12-3 run at the 11:27 mark to go in front 16-9 with 8:36 left in the first period.  The Flames fought their way back and scored 12 of the next 14 points to take hold of the lead, 21-19. 

Redshirt senior Heidi Dahnke and Grossfeld teamed up to score the final eight points of the first half for UIC as the Flames closed out the period on an 8-2 mini spurt and went into the locker room with a 29-26 advantage.

At the break, Hanneman and Foulks paced UIC with eight points apiece, while the Raiders were led by Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Kim Demmings with 11.  Demmings would finish the game with a triple double, posting 26 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. 

Wright State owned the first 14 minutes of the second half, outscoring the Flames, 40-20, on the wings of superb long-range shooting by KC Elkins who notched five second half threes.   It was at the 5:20 mark and the Raiders up 66-49, that UIC finally decided to turn it on. 

The Flames ripped off 17 straight points over the next three minutes, which was capped off by a three-ball from junior Rachel Story with 2:07 left to play that knotted the tally at 66-66.  UIC scored 10 of those points in the paint, including six straight from Hanneman in a 67-second span.

The Raiders were able to find the charity stripe six times over the next minute-and-a-half, converting five freebies as they now owned a 71-67 lead with 16 seconds on the clock.  That’s when junior Emily Kobel dropped in a layup, while being fouled, as seven seconds remained in the game.  Kobel missed the free throw, but Hannemann grabbed the offensive board and made good on the put back to once again knot the score at 71-71 with less than six seconds left.

WSU’s Demmings received the inbound pass and dribbled the length of the floor, sending up a floater in the lane that clanked off the back of the rim as time expired.

In overtime, both teams traded buckets and the score was tied at 76-76 with 1:31 left on the clock.  Kobel then delivered a punishing three-pointer at the 1:08 mark, giving UIC the 79-76 lead.  On the ensuing possession WSU’s Elkins sank 1-fo-2 from the free throw line, but at the opposite end Hannemann drilled both of her freebies to give the Flames a four-point edge with 24 seconds left.

Ten seconds later, Demmings was sent to the free throw line and hit just 1-of-2, which sealed the triumph for UIC.

With the victory, the Flames leapfrog Wright State in the Horizon League standings and now sit tied-for-fifth with Valparaiso.

UIC returns to action on Saturday at home against Detroit with tip scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.