Whoosh! Net News

Loss simply indefensible


February 6, 2015

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Junior guard Paris Burns had 20 points and a career-high nine assists for the Flames against Oakland.

UIC put together one of its best offensive performances of the season Wednesday night against Oakland at the Pavilion.

The Flames shot a season-high 49.2 percent from the field and led by as many as eight points in the first half, but UIC's defense was eventually shredded.

Golden Grizzlies senior center Corey Petros owned the paint and overwhelmed the Flames with 34 points and 13 rebounds as Oakland shot 60.3 percent in a 91-77 victory over UIC.

Petros was 15-for-22 from the field and the Golden Grizzlies (12-12, 7-2 Horizon) out scored UIC 48-22 in the paint.

Petros wasn't alone in putting up big numbers. Sophomore point guard Kahlil Felder scored 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting to go with seven assists while freshman forward Jalen Hayes racked up 16 points and 10 assists as the Grizzlies dished out 28 total assists on 35 field goals.

“Tonight was all about our lack of defense,” UIC coach Howard Moore said. “We gave Oakland very little resistance and they put up 91 points. We had a great night shooting, especially from three, but we did not get it done on the defensive end.”

Junior Paris Burns recorded 20 points on 8-for-14 from the field and dished out a career-high nine assists to lead the Flames (5-19, 1-8), who've dropped eight straight. Senior guard Ahman Fells had another strong effort, racking up 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting to go with eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Markese McGuire contributed a career-high 16 points, which included 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

Burns hit a pair of baskets to start a 14-6 run that helped the Flames open a 22-14 lead. Fells capped the spurt with a 3-pointer with 12:26 left in the first half.

UIC still led by five at 27-22 when McGuire hit a 3-pointer, but Oakland countered with eight straight points with Felder drilling a 3 to give the Grizzlies a 30-27.

Jake Wiegand hit a layup as the Flames grabbed a 40-39 lead with 36 seconds before halftime, but Petros responded with a short jumper as the Grizzlies took a 41-40 halftime lead.

Oakland took command quickly coming out of the locker room as Petros hit three baskets during a demoralizing 14-0 blitz to start the second half. When Tommy McCune hit a free throw, the Grizzlies led 55-40 with just over 15 minutes remaining.

Fells pulled the Flames to within 60-51 with a fast-break layup with 12:19 to go, but Oakland slammed the door with another huge run -- this time, a 14-2 spurt, which was led by five points from Petros, for a 74-53 advantage with 8:41 to play.

The Grizzlies shot an incredible 71.4 percent in the second half (20-for-28).

FLAMES FLICKERS: Former Flames forward Darrin Williams, who played during Moore's first two seasons as coach, has joined the squad as a graduate assistant. ... Burns' nine assists is tied for the most in the five-year Moore era. Gary Talton also had nine assists on Feb. 10, 2013 in a triple-overtime win over Youngstown State. ... Oakland had 28 assists to 11 turnovers while UIC had 19 assists to 13 turnovers. ... The Flames shot 11-for-19 from 3-point range (57.9 percent). McGuire hit four 3s and Fells had three. ... Oakland improved to 7-0 in the all-time series.

In other recent news:
Miller steps away from program (2/4/15)
Valparaiso 70, UIC 65: Valpo still has Flames’ number (2/2/15)
Milwaukee 71, UIC 65: Technically speaking (1/30/15)
Youngstown State 77, UIC 64: Not enough juice (1/26/15)
Green Bay 78, UIC 55: Staying cold in Green Bay (1/22/15)
Detroit 69, UIC 68: Red-faced (1/16/15)
Valparaiso 85, UIC 56: Pounded on the inside (1/9/15)
Cleveland State 74, UIC 69: Going down swinging (1/5/15)
UIC 77, Youngstown State 71: A clean slate (1/3/15)