Blount suspended; Flames fall at Green Bay
By Mike Pankow
January 22, 2019
Junior forward Jordan Blount was issued a one-game suspension for violating the conference's "student-athlete sportsmanship principles" and sat out the Flames' 90-85 loss to Green Bay at the Resch Center.
Blount's suspension likely stemmed for the swipe he took at Milwaukee's Darius Roy after two became entangled early in the second half in UIC's 81-69 loss on Thursday night. After a replay review, Blount was assessed a technical foul but was not ejected.
Neither UIC nor the Horizon League would comment further on the suspension.
Despite missing Blount, the Flames had plenty of opportunties to steal a road victory. UIC made 9 of its first 11 attempts from 3-point range and lead by as many as 10 points in the first half.
Godwin Boahen scored a career-high 25 points, hitting five 3-pointers, to go with six rebounds and five assists and Michael Diggins, starting in place of Blount, added a career-best 16 points with six rebounds for the Flames (9-11, 3-4 Horizon).
Sandy Cohen III poured in 26 points, including a back-breaking 3-pointer with 1:03 left, and JayQuan McCloud contributed 21 points for the Phoenix (10-10, 4-3), who shot 56.3 percent in the second half.
Boahen hit a pair of 3s and Tarkus Ferguson (15 points and nine rebounds) added a dunk during a 10-0 run that put UIC ahead 24-19 with 11:08 left in the first half.
Diggins drilled a 3-pointer to give the Flames a 38-28 lead with 7:23 before halftime. UIC settled for a 44-42 lead at intermission.
The Flames led by as many as five early in the second half before Green Bay fought back.
Tank Hemphill (15 points) slammed home a dunk with 11:28 left as the Phoenix surged ahead 69-60, but UIC answered back with a strong spurt.
Diggins slammed home a dunk to cap a 13-2 run as the Flames took a 73-71 lead with 7:30 remaining, but he was called for a taunting technical foul after staring down Josh McNair.
The Phoenix scored the next nine points, taking an 80-73 lead on another dunk by Hemphill, but the Flames put together one more down the stretch.
Diggins dunked again to cut Green Bay's lead to 84-82 with 3:01 remaining. The Flames had a chance to tie the game on their next possession, but Rob Howard was blocked down low by Cohen on a play where it appeared there was some contact.
Kam Hankerson drilled a 3-pointer with the shot clock running down for a five-point lead, then after a missed layup by Marcus Ottey (19 points, 8-for-18 shooting), Cohen answered with another 3-pointer for a 90-82 lead, effectively sealing the game.
FLAMES FLICKERS: Ferguson surpassed the 1,000-point for his UIC career, becoming the 25th player in Flames history to reach the milestone and the fourth in the last two seasons (Tai Odiase, Dikembe Dixson and Ottey were the others). ... Saturday was the fourth time this season Boahen has converted at least five 3-pointers. ... The Flames turned over the ball five times in the first four minutes, but they finished with just 10 for the game. ... UIC has lost 14 straight games at the Resch Center. The Flames won 83-75 in Green Bay last season, but the game was played on campus at the Kress Center. ... UIC dropped to 1-9 on the road this season after going 9-8 last season, including 7-2 on the road in Horizon League games.