Flames Top Titans in Horizon League Nail-Biter, 76-74

Emily Kobel tied a career-high with 17 points versus Detroit.
Emily Kobel tied a career-high with 17 points versus Detroit.

Feb. 23, 2013

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CHICAGO – The UIC women’s basketball team (9-16, 5-7) picked up its second consecutive Horizon League win on Saturday night with a 76-74 triumph against third-place Detroit.  Eight lead changes and four ties in the final 3:44 gave both teams the opportunity for victory, but a wide-open layup by sophomore Gisselle Truiett with 20 seconds left and a Flames’ defensive stop sealed the outcome.  Junior Rachel Story posted a game-high 22 points to notch her eighth 20-point outing on the season.

“I thought we played with a lot of passion tonight,” said head coach Regina Miller.  “It was a true team effort and I’m very pleased with how we executed our post defense.”

Junior Emily Kobel tied a career-high with 17 points as she sank four three pointers, including three in the second half.

“Emily knows if she’s open, she has the green light,” said Miller.  “She hit some huge shots for us tonight and really stepped up her play.”

Redshirt junior Katie Hannemann added 16 points to UIC’s total as she is averaging 21.6 points in her last five games.  Senior Taylor Foulks recorded her third game of the season with double-digit rebounds, leading all players with 10 boards.  Foulks’ seven points leaves her just 12 shy of 1,000 for her career.

Both teams struggled to find the basket in the early goings as they combined for just two buckets in the first five minutes of play.  The Flames caught a lucky break at the 14:55 mark with Detroit’s Shareta Brown picking up her second foul, sending her to the bench for the next eight minutes.

Even without Brown, the Titans were able to go on a 10-0 and pull ahead of UIC, 15-4, with 12:22 left in the period. 

Later in the half, the Flames went on an 11-2 run, capped off by a Kobel three, which gave UIC its first lead of the game, 30-28, with 2:28 on the ticker.  The advantage was short lived as Detroit responded by scoring the final 10 points of the half, including eight from junior Senee Shearer, jumping in front the Flames 38-30 at the break. Shearer led all scorers at the half with 17 points, drilling 5-of-9 from the outside.

Story paced UIC at half with nine points followed by Hannemann with six.

The Flames were able to cut Detroit’s lead down to four points by the 16:33 mark of the second half, but then the Titans’ Demeisha Fambro put up seven straight points to give UDM a 52-41 edge with 13:50 on the clock.

With the Titans ahead by 11, UIC executed a 15-3 run over a four-minute span to grab the 56-55 edge.  Detroit retook the lead on the next possession on jumper by Shearer, but then Kobel did what she does best and nailed her third trey of the game to put the Flames in front 59-57 with just over eight minutes left to play.

The Flames held the lead until the 3:44 mark when UDM’s Brown made good on a three-point play to put the Titans up one.  That’s when both teams batted the lead back-and-forth until Story found Truiett all alone under the basket for a layup with 20 seconds remaining, giving the Flames a 75-74 lead.  UIC held strong the defensive end by forcing Brown into a tough look which clanked off the rim and out-of-bounds.  Kobel secured the inbounds pass and was fouled with just 0.2 on the clock, leaving Detroit with three-quarter court heave that fell short. 

UIC shot 14-of-28 (50.0%) and held UDM’s Shearer to just four points in the second half.  Detroit went 9-of-26 (34.6%) from the field in the final period.

The Flames are back in action on Thursday at second-place Youngstown State with tip scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.