Whoosh! Net News

It's a three spree

Flames tie school-record with 17 treys in rout of CSU

By Mike Pankow

January 14, 2019

Mike Pankow/Whoosh!

UIC sophomore guard Jamie Ahale hit four 3-pointers against Cleveland State on Saturday.

UIC has been living and dying by the 3-pointer for the majority of the 2018-19 season.

Saturday afternoon, the Flames were living it up as they tied a school-record with 17 3-point baskets in a 73-56 victory over Cleveland State at Credit Union 1 Arena.

Tarkus Ferguson, who hit a career-best seven 3-pointers in Thursday's victory over Youngstown State, drilled six more and finished with 18 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists to lead the Flames (9-9, 3-2 Horizon League).

UIC matched a program-record that was last attained on Feb. 8, 1996, against Northern Illinois at Chick Evans Fieldhouse in DeKalb.

Australian sophomore Jamie Ahale had a breakout performance, doubling his career high with four 3-pointers and 12 points. Marcus Ottey (15 points, five assists) and Godwin Boahen (nine points) each connected on three 3s.

After neither team scored for over three minutes at the start of the game, Ferguson finally hit a shot (a 3-pointer, of course) at the 16:22 mark. By the Ahale knocked down a triple out of a timeout less than five minutes later, the Flames led 22-4.

"More than anything, it was just the guys knowing that if we got up and defended like we did early in the game, we were going to be able to get out in transition," UIC coach Steve McClain said. "Anybody who watches us knows that we're at our best when we're in transition and that ball is moving."

One of the most encouraging things for McClain was seeing Ahale finally get comfortable during game action with his four 3-pointers.

"I was really pleased with Jamie's play today," McClain said. "I thought he really came in and gave us a great spark. He plays so hard on the defensive end, he's in there fighting for rebounds.

"He's a young man that works as hard as anybody at shooting the basketball. He and (Tarkus Ferguson) stay after practice and shoot for another 25-30 minutes."

After they took their 18-point lead, the Flames stayed stuck on 22 points for a while. UIC went scoreless for seven minutes as the Vikings (5-14, 0-6) pulled to within eight before Ahale hit another 3-pointer.

The Flames led 33-26 at the half after Tyree Appleby (23 points) connected on a pair of free throws.

Ottey and Boahen knocked down 3-pointers in the first minute of the second half as UIC led by double digits the rest of the way extending it to as many as 27.

"When we found our energy, our guys took control of the game," McClain said. "(Cleveland State) made a little run, but we got right back after it in the second half and really did a good job from there on."

FLAMES FLICKERS: Junior forward Jordan Blount finished with 11 points and eight rebounds despite entering the game with a black eye and tweaking his ankle Saturday. He was hit in the face during Thursday's game. ... Boahen has hit at least one 3-pointer in 36 straight games. ... Ferguson is 16-for-34 on 3-pointers (47.1 percent) since a 0-for-9 effort against Northern Kentucky on Dec. 30. ... Redshirt junior guard Dominique Matthews and redshirt freshman Ralph Bissainthe each made their first appearance since Dec. 21 against St. Francis (Joliet).

POSTGAME VIDEO (courtesy UIC Flames on YouTube):

In other recent news:
UIC 78, Youngstown State 63: Smoking hot (1/11/19)
IUPUI 66, UIC 64: Slow start too much (1/7/19)
Northern Kentucky 73, UIC 58: Sluggish night (1/1/19)
UIC 75, Wright State 72 (OT): The few, the proud (12/29/18)
UIC 76, St. Francis (Joliet) 55: Getting back on track (12/26/18)
UIC 63, Incarnate Word 57: Good half just good enough (12/19/18)
DePaul 90, UIC 70: One extreme to another (12/15/18)
Colorado 84, UIC 72: All fouled up (12/11/18)
UIC 94, Illinois State 75: Complete effort (12/6/18)
Loyola 73, UIC 64: Crosstown quandary (12/4/18)