Flames Win OT Thriller, 66-61, Against Northern Illinois

Emily Kobel went 3-of-6 from three with 15 points against NIU.
Emily Kobel went 3-of-6 from three with 15 points against NIU.

Dec. 22, 2012

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CHICAGO – The UIC women’s basketball team (3-7) improved its home record to 3-2 with an overtime win against Northern Illinois (4-6) on Saturday afternoon at the UIC Pavilion by a final score of 66-61.  Junior Rachel Story led all players with 23 points, her third 20-point performance of the season, as she scored seven of the Flames’ nine overtime points.  She was joined in double figures by junior Emily Kobel with 15 points and redshirt junior Katie Hannemann with 12.  Kobel went 3-of-6 from behind the arc and Hannemann posted her eighth double-digit scoring output of the year.  

“I’m proud of our effort today,” said head coach Regina Miller.  “We fought our way back after getting down early.  Our second half was night and day better than the first and so we need to continue to try and put together a full 40 minutes.”

After a back-and-forth exchange in the opening minutes, Northern Illinois took control with an 11-2 run, beginning at the 13:21 mark as they built a 19-10 lead.  NIU’s Amanda Corral led the Huskie offensive charge with three treys in first nine minutes of action.  Corral finished with 15 points in the first half and 19 for the game.

The Flames fought back and cut the score to within four points (24-20) with 2:35 left in the first period, but then the Huskies ripped off four straight to close out the half.  Corral converted 3-of-3 from the free throw line as she was fouled behind the arc in the final seconds of period.

Kobel had seven points at halftime to lead the Flames, which provided an 11-6 bench scoring advantage for UIC in the first stanza. 

UIC regrouped in the locker room and scored the first six points of the second half with four in the low post from Hannemann.  The Flames kept the momentum and captured their first lead (31-30) since the beginning of the first half at the 13:25 mark off a Megan Wallace jumper from the right elbow.

The Huskies quickly retook the lead with bucket and two free throws, but then UIC rattled off seven straight points to go ahead 38-34 with 9:06 left to play.

UIC remained in control until 49 seconds left to play when NIU’s Jada Buggs dropped in a layup to knot the score at 57-57 and force the game into overtime.

Story scored the first four points of OT and gave the Flames a 61-57 advantage by the 2:16 mark.  NIU’s Corral was fouled on the ensuing possession and drilled both free throws, closing UIC’s edge to 61-59.  The two-point margin was the closest Northern Illinois came to UIC as the Flames sank five of their last six foul shots in the final 36 seconds.

Junior Megan Wallace grabbed a career-high nine rebounds and blocked three shots.  Freshman Caitlin Garant provided the Flames with a spark off the bench with six points in just 11 minutes of play.

The Flames return to action on Dec. 28 at home against Western Michigan with tip set for 7 p.m. CT.