UIC's Comeback Falls Short at No. 8 seed Valparaiso, 67-57
March 11, 2013
VALPARAISO, Ind. – The ninth-seeded UIC women’s basketball team (9-21, 5-11) concluded its season on Monday night with a 67-57 loss at No. 8 seed Valparaiso in the first round of the 2013 Horizon League Tournament. Facing a 12-point deficit with less than 10 minutes to play, the Flames outscored the Crusaders 13-4 over the next five minutes and kept battling until the final horn. Junior Rachel Story paced UIC in scoring with 17 points and was joined in double figures by junior Emily Kobel with 10. Story’s 468 points this year ranks as the 10th highest total in UIC single-season history.
“I thought we fought hard during the second half,” said head coach Regina Miller. “I feel like we beat ourselves in the first half and unfortunately that was the difference maker. I want to say thank you to our two seniors and I hope the returnees will remember how this moment feels.”
Senior Taylor Foulks will exit UIC with 1,020 points and 221 made threes. She is the only player in Flames’ history to record more than 200 threes, 200 steals and 60 blocked shots. Foulks tallied a game-high six steals and ended the year with a team-best 57 total swipes.
Redshirt senior Heidi Dahnke saved her best season for last as she increased her production in nearly every offensive category. She is also the team’s fourth-leading rebounder with a total of 118 boards. Dahnke finished the night with six points on 3-of-5 shooting.
The Crusaders used an 18-5 run during a six-minute stretch in the first half to jump in front of UIC 29-18 by the 5:00 minute mark. Valpo’s Tabitha Gerardot scored nine points in that span and finished the night with a game-high 25 and 11 rebounds. The Flames stopped VU’s run with four straight points, but then Valpo extended its lead to 13 with less than a minute to go in the first half. Junior Megan Wallace sank a jumper with 26 second on the clock to cut the Crusaders’ halftime advantage to 37-26.
The Flames had trouble on the glass in the first period and were out-rebounded 23-12, while giving up 11 second-chance points. Valpo also had 20 points in the paint by halftime compared to just six for UIC.
Kobel provided the Flames with a much needed spark in the second half, scoring all of her 10 points in the final 12 minutes. UIC applied tough defensive pressure and forced the Crusaders into 10 second half turnovers, which produced 11 points for the Flames.