HOME NEWS SCHEDULE LINKS ARCHIVES ROSTER HISTORY CONTACT
Whoosh! Net News

Super streakin’

Flames sweep through Motor City for 6th win in row

By Mike Pankow

February 5, 2018

Mike Pankow/Whoosh! file photo

UIC’s Dikembe Dixson had 23 points and eight rebounds Sunday afternoon in a victory at Detroit Mercy.

After going scoreless for the first time in his UIC career, sophomore forward Dikembe Dixson looked like a man on two missions.

The first: Look more like the player the Flames know he can be. The second: Contribute in extending UIC’s winning streak to six games.

Missions accomplished. Dixson scored 23 points, grabbed a season-high rebounds and matched a season-high with four steals Sunday afternoon as the Flames (14-11, 9-3) defeated Detroit Mercy 78-69 at Calihan Hall to move to within one game of first place in the Horizon League with six games remaining.

Dixson went 7-for-11 from the field and 8-for-10 from the foul to hit the 20-point mark for the fifth time this season after going 0-for-4 Friday night in the win at Oakland.

After the Flames fell behind 7-0, Dixson finally get his team on the board with a short jumper in the lane just over 3 minutes into the contest.

Dixson hit another jumper and a 3-pointer to ignite a 12-2 run that gave the Flames the lead for good midway through the first half. Dixson finished with seven points in the run.

Tarkus Ferguson, who also had a strong offensive game with 15 points and 11 rebounds, drilled back-by-back 3-pointers to boost UIC’s advantage to 11 at 37-26 with 3:40 left in the first half.

The Titans (7-18, 3-9) pulled to within four before freshman Jacob Wiley hit a layup in the final seconds of the half to give the Flames a 43-37 lead at the break.

After again falling behind by double digits, Detroit made a bit of a run. Cole Long scored on a layup to cut the Flames’ lead to 54-51 with 14:08 left.

The Flames, with their newfound swagger, countered with a 9-1 run with four different players scoring. Clint Robinson scored in the post, followed by a jumper in transition by Dixson. Dominique Matthews drilled a 3-pointer and Ferguson hit a pair of free throws to cap the burst to open a 63-52 lead with 8:05 left.

UIC eventually pushed the lead to 69-56 on Marcus Ottey’s layup with 5:23 remaining and the Flames never led by fewer than four the rest of the way.

The short-handed Titans, with several players out due to injury, kept it close for a while, thanks to Josh McFolley’s career-high 30 points and six steals.

The Flames also continued their strong run of solid defensive performances, holding Detroit to 34.8 percent shooting, including 4-for-27 from 3-point range.

UIC has now won six straight on the road and nine of 10 games overall since a 5-10, 0-2 start to the season.

The Flames return home for a two-game homestand against Youngstown State and Cleveland State later this week and finish the regular season with five of six at the UIC Pavilion.

FLAMES FLICKERS: Tai Odiase, who led UIC in scoring against Oakland, had seven points and eight rebounds Sunday. … All 10 Flames that played scored at least one field goal. … Godwin Boahen finished with eight points and was 2-for-3 from 3-point range. The sophomore guard is now 19-for-25 on 3s (76 percent) in his last seven games. He has made at least two from beyond arc in each of those games. … UIC’s bench outscored Detroit’s 21-1. The Flames’ reserves have won that battle in each of their last seven games. … The Flames have won nine conference games for the first time since the 2007-08 season when they finished 9-9. … With a win Thursday against Youngstown State, UIC will clinch its first winning record in Horizon League play since 2003-04 – the last time the Flames advanced to the NCAA tournament. … UIC is 4-2 in the Detroit metro area the last two seasons, including two wins at Detroit Mercy, one at Oakland and a win at Joe Louis Arena in the 2017 Horizon League tournament. The tournament is back in Detroit this season at the new Little Caesars Arena.

In other recent news:
UIC 79, Oakland 73: A happy new year (2/3/18)
UIC 74, Milwaukee 56: Bench brigade gets it done (1/30/18)
UIC 71, IUPUI 62: Pluck of the Irish (1/28/18)
UIC 87, Cleveland State 80: Blount pushes Flames (1/21/18)
UIC 92, Youngstown State 78: Block party (1/19/18)
Oakland 78, UIC 68: Treacherous trio (1/16/18)
UIC 88, Milwaukee 73: “Juice” on the loose (1/13/18)
UIC 84, Green Bay 73: Helping hand (1/11/18)
UIC 70, IUPUI 65: Hard-earned victory (1/7/18)