UIC (6-23, 1-14 Horizon) finally recorded its first win of Horizon League on Tuesday. The Flames, who entered with a 17-game losing streak, took down Milwaukee (16-13, 6-9) at US Cellular Arena, 80-58.
The 22 points were the Flames largest margin of victory against a Division I team this season.
“Tonight is mixed emotions for me,” UIC head coach Howard Moore said. “If we would have played with this effort in our losses then our record would be totally different. It might even be flip-flopped. If we continue to play this way then we will be that team no one wants to play in March. Our focus now is that there is no let down on Saturday and that we continue to play our best basketball moving forward.”
UIC, which started hot many times during its losing streak, did the same Tuesday and built 37-18 lead at the final media timeout of the first half.
Then Milwaukee, or really sophomore forward Matt Tiby, made the run that many teams have put together against UIC. Tiby scored nine straight points, and the Flames’ halftime lead stood at only 12.
The Flames then opened the second half on a tear. By the 14-minute mark, they led 55-34. Their lead reached as many as 29 points with 4:47 to go.
Senior guard Kelsey Barlow led UIC with 23 points while senior forward Jordan Harks also reached double figures with 10. Barlow shot 8-of-10, his highest shooting percentage of the season, and also dished out four assists. Harks shot 5-of-8 from the field.
Freshman guard Pat Birt recorded nine points off the bench, and senior Hayden Humes and juniors Jay Parker and Marc Brown posted eight points apiece.
Parker also had seven rebounds and four dimes.
Three Panthers scored in double figures, led by senior Kyle Kelm. Kelm registered 12 points while Tiby and senior guard Jordan Aaron each had 10.
UIC returns home for its final regular season game Saturday, when it takes on Wright State. The Raiders are tied for third place in the Horizon League and beat UIC, 58-53, in January.