Flames Defeat Eastern Michigan, Advance to WBI Semifinals
March 24, 2014
YPSILANTI, Mich. - The fourth-seeded UIC women’s basketball team (24-9) picked up the first road postseason victory in program history Monday (March 24) with a 93-91 win over No. 1 Eastern Michigan (18-14) in quarterfinal action of the 2014 Women’s Basketball Invitational. The Flames advance to the semifinals of the East Region where they will play host to No. 6 Fairfield at 5:30 p.m. CT on Thursday (March 27).
Down 91-90 with 37 seconds remaining, Ruvanna Campbell converted a three-point play with eight seconds on the clock to put the Flames ahead. EMU’s Shannise Heady missed two straight jumpers as time expired and UIC escaped with a two-point victory.
Rachel Story poured in 27 points while Campbell collected her 24th double-double of the season with 27 points and a career-high 23 rebounds. Campbell’s 23 rebounds are a WBI record and the second highest in program history.
“A very exciting finish to an entertaining game,” said UIC head coach Regina Miller. “Rachel and Ruvanna had huge efforts, especially in the second half. Their play has been stellar as of late and they came up with season-best performances tonight. We beat a very talented Eastern Michigan team and look forward to hosting Fairfield in the semis Thursday.”
UIC shot 55 percent from the floor and tied the program record with 41 made field goals. The Flames scored over 90 points for the third time of the 2013-14 campaign and the 55 percent shooting is the second highest of the season (.591 vs. Roosevelt).
The Flames scored 58 points in the paint and 22 fast break points. UIC out-rebounded the Eagles 48-36 and improved to 24-4 when winning the battle on the boards. The Flames dished out 25 assists, which is one short of the WBI record of 26 set by Manhattan in 2012.
UIC built a 23-13 advantage before EMU went on a 20-6 run to take a 33-29 lead with 6:15 left in the first half. The Flames fought back and entered halftime up 49-48 following Campbell’s layup with 27 seconds remaining before the break. UIC is 21-1 this season when leading at halftime.
UIC controlled play early in the second half and took its largest lead of the contest at 77-66 with 9:02 on the clock. EMU went on another 20-6 run to go up 86-83 with 2:23 remaining.
Emily Kobel’s three-pointer tied the score but Cha Sweeney’s triple gave the Eagles a 91-88 advantage with 1:32 left. Terri Bender’s offensive rebound and put back narrowed the EMU lead to 91-90. Heady missed two free throws on the other end before Campbell’s three-point play capped the scoring and sent the Flames into the semifinals.
Campbell collected her first career 20-point/20-rebound performance and 14th double-double over the last 15 contests. It is her 12th 20-point effort and second 20-rebound performance of the season. Campbell had 21 rebounds on Jan. 18 at Oakland.
Campbell was 13-of-17 from the field, which matched her career-high effort set on Feb. 15 at Wright State. She also tied her career high with three blocks. Campbell had 17 points and 14 rebounds in the second half. Over the last six games, Campbell is averaging 17.0 rebounds per contest.
Story picked up her fifth 20-point performance over the last six games and 15th 20-point effort of the season. She passed Taylor Foulks (2009-13) to move into 17th place in program history with 1,037 career points.
Story converted a career-high 12 field goals on 19 attempts and sank 3-of-9 from beyond the arc. She also picked up a career-high six steals and dished out three assists. In the second half, Story had 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
Senior Katie Hannemann scored 19 points and passed Toni Stachon (1975-78) and Jacquese Gilbert (1988-91) into 15th place in program history with 1,073 career points. She owns 26 double-digit efforts this season and 53 in her UIC career.
Hannemann finished 8-of-16 from the field and dished out five assists. In the first half, she was 7-of-10 from the field and scored 15 points.
Kobel sank 4-of-9 three-point attempts and finished the game with 14 points. She became the sixth player in program history with 150 made three-pointers. Over the last three games, Kobel has made 10-of-21 attempts from beyond the arc.
Bender dished out nine assists, grabbed seven rebounds and collected two steals over 34 minutes. Bender’s 92 steals are second most in a single season at UIC and she needs two more steals to break Ava Walker's record of 93 set in 1980-81.