UIC downed by Elon in first game of Thanksgiving Classic

Photo: Jesse Kramer / thecatchandshoot.com
Photo: Jesse Kramer / thecatchandshoot.com
UIC is now 0-17 away from home under coach Steve McClain. (Photo: Jesse Kramer / thecatchandshoot.com)

UIC could not keep up in a high-scoring affair Wednesday against Elon at the NIU Thanksgiving Classic, falling 91-80. The Flames made a late surge after trailing by 21 points in the second half but ran out of time.

While the Flames defense struggled, allowing 1.15 points per possession, the offense remained strong, eclipsing one point per possession for the fourth time in as many games this season.

Sophomore forward Dikembe Dixson led the way once again with 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting. Dixson is now shooting 50% from the field for the season and has a 113.4 offensive rating, way up from last year’s 87.3 mark. The 6’7″ forward also grabbed 10 rebounds Wednesday for his first double-double of the season and eighth of his career.

Junior forward Tai Odiase added 17 points and 7 rebounds while freshman guard Marcus Ottey chipped in 11 points.

Sophomore guard Dainan Swoope led Elon with 26 points off the bench, and three additional Phoenix players scored in double figures. Swoope entered Wednesday’s game averaging seven points against Division I opponents this season.

The Flames are now 0-17 on games at road or neutral sites under second-year coach Steve McClain, and they’ll remain on the road for the remainder of the weekend. They face Cal Poly on Friday and then tournament host Northern Illinois in a true road game Saturday.

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