UIC (4-6) continued its hot/cold pattern on Saturday night with a 75-69 defeat of Southeast Missouri (7-3).
The Flames started the 2013-14 season slowly with a 1-3 record and then won two out of three games to finish third at the Gulf Coast Showcase. Upon their return to Chicago, they dropped games to Southern Methodist and Loyola Chicago.
Saturday, the Flames came out hot against Southeast Missouri, taking a 16-0 lead.
But with a home court advantage, the Redhawks fought back to 38-33 at halftime.
The Redhawks remained competitive in the second half, cutting the deficit to one point multiple times, but they never could get over the hump.
UIC converted its free throws down the stretch and got the necessary stops to secure its third victory away from home.
UIC senior Kelsey Barlow flirted with a triple-double, posting 21 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. In fact, he was even close to a quadruple-double with six turnovers as well.
The Redhawks had no way to stop Barlow in the first half, as he scored 11 points, nine boards, and seven dimes.
Senior Jordan Harks and junior Marc Brown each added 12 points, and senior Hayden Humes had eight points and six rebounds.
Freshman Markese McGuire contributed nine points off the bench.
Southeast Missouri was led by 28 points and nine rebounds from star wing Jarekious Bradley.
Leading scorer Tyler Stone, a 6’8″ forward, was held to 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting, and junior guard Darrian Gray added 14 points.
“I was really proud of our defensive intensity today,” UIC head coach Howard Moore said. “Our guys did a great job of forcing SEMO [Southeast Missouri] out of their normal rhythm and our post players did a great job of containing Tyler Stone. Barlow was our catalyst again tonight, but it truly was a team effort.”
UIC will return to the Pavilion on Tuesday to host NAIA Purdue-Calumet. The Peregrines are 9-1 against NAIA competition, and in their one game against Division I, they lost to IPFW.
Tip is set for 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday night.