Rapid Reaction: UIC 79, Northern Kentucky 77

UIC continued its surge Saturday with a 79-77 victory against Northern Kentucky. The Flames, who have now won three of their last four games, erased an eight-point deficit in the second half and held on as UIC center Tai Odiase rejected Drew McDonald’s game-tying attempt on the game’s final possession.

 

Tai Odiase flirts with a triple-double once again. One game after scoring 18 points, six rebounds and seven blocks against Wright State, Odiase posted 15 points, eight boards and nine rejections against Northern Kentucky (9-16, 5-9 Horizon).

The 6-foot-9 sophomore saved several possessions on the defensive end with his post presence, but none was bigger than the final possession when he rejected McDonald and then tracked down the loose ball, allowing time to expire without giving the Norse an opportunity for another possession.

This was the fifth time in the last 10 games where Odiase has recorded at least 10 points, six rebounds and six blocks.

 

Gabe Snider has found his shooting stroke. After missing 11 games with a foot injury, Snider, who shot 40.6 percent from beyond the arc in non-conference play, returned Thursday and missed badly on his only two shot attempts, both 3-pointers, agains Wright State. The 6-foot-3 senior then started 1-of-7 from 3-point range Saturday against Northern Kentucky.

Snider then came alive late in the second half, sinking a three successive 3-pointers at crucial moments. All three shots came with the Flames leading by three points. His triple with 1:01 remaining gave UIC (5-19, 3-10) a 78-72 after a pair of Tyler White free throws had trimmed the Flames’ lead to one possession.

 

Dikembe Dixson shows resiliency after rough first half. The 6-foot-7 freshman missed his first eight shots from the field and finished the first half with three points on 1-of-10 shooting.

That did not stop Dixson from coming out of halftime with great energy.

In the second half, Dixson shot 4-of-7 from the field and 8-of-11 from the foul line to finish with a game-high 21 points.

 

Can the Flames continue this hot streak? Maybe. They return to the road, where they are 0-11 this season, with a game Tuesday at Youngstown State. However, the Penguins are another struggling team at 4-8 in Horizon League play with three straight losses.

UIC will almost definitely be an underdog Tuesday, but these last few games have shown the Flames are capable of getting their first road win.

Author: Jesse Kramer

Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has had work featured on SI.com, College Insider, The Comeback/Awful Announcing, and 247Sports.

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