Whoosh! Net News

Lost trip continues

Listless Flames fall at Troy

By Mike Pankow

December 1, 2017

Mike Pankow/Whoosh! file photo

Dominque Matthews scored 14 points and hit four 3-pointers Wednesday night against Troy.

As if things couldn’t get any worse for UIC following a 34-point thrashing at the hands of the Kentucky, they somehow did Wednesday night.

The Flames looked lost for most of the game, an affair filled with turnovers, subpar shooting and defensive lapses, as Troy trounced UIC 87-66 in Troy, Ala.

UIC also ran into a buzz saw known as Wesley Person, who scorched the nets for 27 points on 7-for-15 shooting, including five 3-pointers.

If that name is familiar, both his uncle and father played in the NBA, and his uncle, Chuck was known as “The Rifleman.”

Person, like his uncle, wasn’t afraid to chuck up shots and like his relatives was pretty successful. He scored eight points during a game-opening 23-6 run by the Trojans (5-3) that flattened the Flames from the jump.

The Flames (2-4), who lost their third straight overall and dropped to 0-2 on the road, shot 38.3 percent from the field and never trailed by less than double digits for the final 35 minutes.

Perhaps, the face of UIC’s futility on the night was its superstar, Dikembe Dixson, who scored just two points on 1-for-4 shooting and committed five turnovers in just 19 minutes of play.

Dominique Matthews led the Flames with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Marcus Ottey scored 11 points to reach double figures for the fourth time in six games this season. Jordan Blount added 10 points, but he also fouled out and committed four of UIC’s 21 turnovers.

The Flames, albeit aggressive, struggled for most of the night, allowing 48.3 shooting by Troy and twice fouling 3-point shooters in the act of shooting.

Despite the Flames’ rough outing, Trojans coach Phil Cunningham was complimentary of his opponent’s potential.

“That was a game that caught me by surprise,” he said. “We were really concerned about with their athleticism and their depth. That was a really solid win over a team that I think will have a lot of wins under their belt when the season is over.”

FLAMES FLICKERS: Wednesday’s contest was the 100th in the career of UIC center Tai Odiase. Odiase had seven points in 18 minutes after dealing with first-half foul trouble. … The Flames trailed by as many as 29 in the second half, but they rallied to within 15 before Troy scored the final six points of the game. … UIC’s bench was outscored for just the second time this season as the Trojans held a 32-29 edge. … The Flames return to Chicago to wrap up their three-game road trip when they trek to Rogers Park on Saturday to face crosstown rival Loyola at Gentile Arena.

In other recent news:
Kentucky 107, UIC 73: Brush with greatness (11/28/17)
UIC 107, Olivet Nazarene 83: Rediscovering their mojo (11/24/17)
Fort Wayne 67, UIC 51: What a letdown (11/20/17)
UIC 95, Delaware State 55: Path of destruction (11/17/17)
St. Joseph’s 86, UIC 82 (OT): Missed opportunity (11/15/17)
UIC 65, North Carolina Central 55: The defense doesn’t rest (11/11/17)
FIRST LOOK: Maturing Flames oozing potential (11/10/17)
EXHIBITION: UIC 97, St. Francis 62: Hop aboard the hype train (11/6/17)