Flames Advance To Horizon League Semifinals; Defeat Butler 66-53
March 7, 2012
CHICAGO – In her first season as head coach of the Flames, Regina Miller and the UIC women’s basketball team captured its first postseason win since the 2006-07 season Wednesday night inside the UIC pavilion. The fourth-seeded Flames defeated No. 5 seed Butler in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament by a final score of 66-53. UIC advances to the semifinals and will take on No. 1 seed Green Bay on Friday at 7:30 p.m. CT.
“I thought we played really well in the first half,” said head coach Regina Miller. “We actually had a 20-point lead in the second half and they came back on us because we had too many unforced turnovers. We can’t afford to do that going forward.”
Senior Kiara Strickland piloted the Flames with 17 points, while senior Jasmine Bailey tallied 15 points and 13 rebounds. Rounding out the double-digit scorers were junior Taylor Foulks with 13 points and redshirt sophmore Katie Hannemann with 12. In the effort, Bailey surpassed 1,500 career points and 1,000 rebounds, becoming just the second player in program history to do so and the second player in the conference to achieve the milestone since the inception of the Horizon League in 2001.
“I think that’s a great accomplishment,” said head coach Regina Miller. “We didn’t do anything special to try and get her the ball, but she’s the type of player that can create her own shot and she certainly did that in the second half.”
Bailey wasted no time grabbing her 1,000th rebound as she did so within the first three minutes of the game. Bailey did however leave the Flames’ fans in suspense, hitting 1.500 career points with just 14 seconds left in the first half, needing a mere three points from the start.
With the victory, UIC improves to 18-12 on the season which is tied for the second-most wins in school history. Eighteen triumphs also gives Miller the new school record for most wins by a first-year head coach.
The Flames started the contest out with a 13-0 run and applied a strangulating defense that forced Butler to shoot 0-for-10 in the first five minutes of the game. The Bulldogs finally put points on the board at the 14:41 mark on a three-pointer by Mandy McDivitt.
The shooting woes continued for Butler throughout the rest of the half as they went to the locker room with a 20.7 percent shooting clip (6-for-29). The Bulldogs were able to reduce UIC’s lead down to eight points on two separate occasions as the Flames witnessed nearly a four and a half minute scoring drought during the first half.
UIC reached its largest lead of the period, 23-9, at the 5:00 minute mark as Hannemann scored her 10th point of the evening to pilot all first-half scorers. Strickland and Foulks weren’t far behind with eight points apiece, while McDivitt paced BU with eight points.
Both teams began the second half with offensive troubles as they combined for a shooting percentage of 38 in the first eight minutes. UIC refocused and used a 7-0 run starting at the 11:25 mark to catapult themselves to their first 20-point lead of night with 10:01 on the ticker.
Over the next six minutes, the Bulldogs chopped UIC’s advantage down to 56-48 as senior Shamiea Green fouled out at the 6:32 mark.
Foulks put the Flames back up by nine points on a well-contested three-pointer with 3:26 on the clock in part of a 10-2 UIC spurt. The Flames held strong down the stretch and pulled out the 13-point triumph.