Flames Advance to Horizon League Semifinals; Defeat CSU 77-72

Rachel Story scored a game-high 24 points and sank a three-quarters court bank shot at the halftime buzzer
Rachel Story scored a game-high 24 points and sank a three-quarters court bank shot at the halftime buzzer

March 12, 2014



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CHICAGO – The UIC women’s basketball team (22-8) never trailed Wednesday night (March 12) and the fourth-seeded Flames defeated No. 5 seed Cleveland State (14-16) in the Quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament by a final score of 77-72.

UIC advances to the Semifinals and will play at No. 1 seed Green Bay (21-8) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. CT. The Phoenix defeated No. 9 Valparaiso 72-55 at home Wednesday night. The first semifinal will feature No. 2 Wright State and No. 3 Youngstown State with tip set for 5 p.m.

UIC out-rebounded CSU 40-28 and is 22-3 when winning the battle on the boards. The Flames had 44 points in the paint, grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and scored 14 second-chance points.

“Cleveland State is a very good team and I am glad we were able to sustain runs throughout the contest,” said UIC head coach Regina Miller. “We scored the first 15 points but got tired and stop making shots. Our defense also suffered with tired legs and we allowed Cleveland State to get back into the game. Rachel’s shot before halftime gave us a lift entering the second half. Our post players made key shots down the stretch and we are excited to continue tournament play at Green Bay Friday night.”

UIC scored the first 15 points of the game before a 19-7 CSU run narrowed the Flames’ lead to 22-19 with 5:02 left in the first half. Imani Gordon’s layup with four seconds left cut the UIC advantage to 32-28 before Rachel Story banked in a three-quarters court shot at the halftime buzzer. The Flames were up 35-28 at the break and improved to 20-1 this season when leading at halftime.

UIC came out strong early in the second half and led 56-44 on Ruvanna Campbell’s free throw with 10:27 remaining. The Vikings scored 21 out of the next 31 points and narrowed the Flames’ lead to 66-65 on Haley Schmitt’s layup with 4:35 on the clock.

Two jumpers from Katie Hannemann and a layup by Campbell kept the Flames in front but the Vikings responded with buckets each time and trailed 74-72 with seven seconds left. Story was sent to the line and sank the first before her second attempt got stuck on the back of the rim. UIC held the possession arrow and Emily Kobel sealed the victory with two more free throws.

Story led the Flames with 24 points on 10-of-20 shooting. She hit 3-of-8 three-point attempts, including a three-quarters court bank shot at the halftime buzzer. She is 10-of-26 from beyond the arc over the last three contests.

It is Story’s third straight 20-point game and her 13th of the season. Story owns 971 career points and needs 29 more points to become the 20th member of the 1,000-Point Club.

Campbell picked up her 12th straight double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds. She also added four assists, three steals and two blocks.

Campbell is averaging 16.3 rebounds over the last three contests. She owns 22 double-doubles this season. Her 367 rebounds are the second most in a single season in program history.

Hannemann contributed 14 points, five rebounds and three assists. She passed Taylor Foulks (2009-13) into 16th place in program history with 1,029 career points.

Sophomore Terri Bender scored 11 points for her fourth double-digit effort in five games. She also had seven assists and is dishing out 5.6 assists per contest over the last five games.