UIC (3-9) fell to 0-6 in games played away from home Wednesday with a 67-46 at SMU (7-3).
After trailing 29-15 at halftime and by 16 points early in the second half, the Flames used a 15-3 to cut the Mustangs’ lead to 34-30 with 13:51 remaining.
Second-leading scorer Jake Wiegand, a junior forward, scored all six of his points during that run. Wiegand was coming off a brutal game where he scored three points on 1-for-9 shooting before fouling out in UIC’s loss Monday to Tennessee-Martin.
Outside of that spurt early in the second half, Wiegand struggled again Wednesday. The 6-foot-8 forward finished with six points on 2-for-8 shooting along with three turnovers.
SMU weathered the storm with a 7-2 spurt.
UIC fell behind by 14 points again but had a chance to cut into SMU’s lead with fewer than nine minutes remaining. After senior guard Marc Brown hit a triple and redshirt freshman wing Lance Whitaker drilled a pull-up jumper from mid-range, the Flames trailed 50-41.
Senior guard Jay Harris passed up an opportunity for layup to make the extra pass to freshman forward Tai Odiase, who would have had an ever better look at the rim. But Odiase was not expecting the pass and fumbled it to SMU. The Mustangs took advantage, starting a 12-0 on the ensuing possession to effectively put the game away.
Brown led the Flames with 15 points but struggled with 5-for-16 shooting from the field. Still, the pure volume of scoring is a good sign for Brown, who was the Flames’ top returning scorer entering the season.
Brown has been dealing with a foot issue and was struggling, but this is his second straight solid game offensively. He posted 23 points in the loss to Tennessee-Martin.
No other Flames scored in double figures, but three Mustangs did. Junior guard Nic Moore and sophomore guard Keith Frazier each posted 16 points, with Frazier also hauling in 10 rebounds for a double-double. Senior center Yanick Moreira added 11 points and eight boards.
UIC continues a three-game road trip Monday at Northwestern.