Plans fouled up
Home-game chances burned in a foul-plagued loss
March 1, 2019
The Flames' hopes of hosting a first-round Horizon League tournament game went up in smoke in a foul-plagued affair to saw host Oakland hold an overwhelming advantage on free throws Thursday night.
The Golden Grizzlies went 30-for-38 from the foul line to UIC's 11-for-15 in an 86-72 victory at O'Rena in Rochester, Mich. The win secures a first-round hosting opportunity for Oakland while the Flames (15-15, 9-8 Horizon) were eliminated from that possibility.
Oakland also flexed its muscle on the interior with Brad Brechting and Xavier Hill-Mais owning the paint. Brechting had 20 points and eight rebounds while Hill-Mais added 13 points as the Grizzlies (14-16, 10-7) had five players in double figures.
Godwin Boahen had 20 points and seven assists for UIC while Tarkus Ferguson added 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, but he also committed seven of the Flames' 20 turnovers.
Sophomore forward Jacob Wiley registered his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Rob Howard also had 10 points for the Flames.
After trailing for most of the first half, UIC grabbed the lead for the first time at 33-32 in a dunk by Wiley with 3:23 before halftime. Ferguson hit a 3-pointer for a two-point lead before Oakland grabbed a 39-36 edge at the break.
The Flames remained close for a while as Howard converted a three-point play to pull UIC to within 52-49 with 11:41 remaining, but he was called for his fourth foul on the ensuing possession.
Hill-Mais converted a three-point play of his own and that started Oakland on a 21-6 run that finally proved to be too much for the Flames.
The Grizzlies finished the season sweep of the Flames and moved into a two-way tie for third with Green Bay, which also sweep UIC, which means the Flames can finish only as high as fifth, meaning they will start the Horizon League tournament on the road next week.
FLAMES FLICKERS: The Flames' frustrations with the officiating crew of D.J. Carstensen, Terry Wymer and Steve McJunkins manifested with two technical fouls whistled against them in the second half -- one on UIC coach Steve McClain and one on Ferguson. ... UIC was called for 24 fouls to 16 for Oakland. ... Boahen recorded his eighth performance of at least 20 points this season. ... In an amazing stat, UIC has shot 230 fewer free throws (730-500) than its opponents this season. The Flames have been called for 642 fouls to 516 for their foes. UIC has 24 disqualifications, including Boahen's on Thursday. Jordan Blount leads the team with eight foul outs. ... Marcus Ottey matched his season-low with four points in 26 minutes. ... The Flames fell to 3-11 on the road with all three wins in Horizon League play. They were 12-4 at home.