No. 12 Illinois Falls to UIC, 57-54
Dec. 18, 2010
CHICAGO (AP) - Darrin Williams scored five points in the final 1:10 Saturday and Illinois-Chicago rallied from an eight-point second-half deficit to stun No. 12 Illinois 57-54, ending the Illini's seven-game winning streak.
After a sluggish start, Illinois (10-2) used a 12-0 run to build a 49-41 lead with 7:30 to go and appeared in control.
But the Flames (5-7), who led for a good portion of the game, weren't about to go away in the United Center.
Illinois had won 12 of the 13 previous meetings with the Flames. And the Illini were more than comfortable at the United Center, posting a 32-9 record there dating to 1994-95.
Demetri McCamey led Illinois with 16 points.
Robo Kreps had 15 points for the Flames, who ended a four-game losing streak under first-year coach Howard Moore. Three of losses were by two points.
The Illini shot 32.7 percent, struggling against UIC's 1-3-1 zone.
After UIC's Brad Birton went high to block a shot by Illinois' Brandon Paul, the 6-foot-9, 282-pound Williams grabbed an offensive rebound at the other end, was fouled and made both free throws to put UIC up 53-52.
McCamey was fouled and made both ends of a 1-and-1 to give the Illini a 54-53 lead with 52.2 seconds remaining. After Kreps' layup rolled off the rim, Williams tipped it in and the Flames were back up 55-54 with 23 seconds to go.
Illinois then missed three straight shots, one a dunk follow attempt by Paul, who seconds later was hurt and had to be helped off the court with a sprained ankle.
Illinois' Mike Tisdale was called for his fifth foul with 3.5 seconds left and Williams went back to the line and hit the first free throw but missed the second as UIC went up 56-54 with 3.2 seconds to go.
After two timeouts, McCamey stepped on the line near midcourt as he caught an inbounds pass, giving the ball back to the Flames. Kreps was fouled and missed the first free throw and made the second for a 57-54 lead.
Illinois then threw the ball out of bounds on its next inbounds attempt and UIC had its monumental upset as players raced on the court and mobbed one another.
UIC broke out with a 10-2 run to open the second half, started by Zavion Neely's 3-pointer and capped by his three-point play, to go ahead 38-30 4 minutes in.
Illinois got a three-point play from Paul and consecutive 3-pointers from McCamey and D.J. Richardson to take it first lead of the game, 43-41 with 9:39 to go.
Kreps then broke UIC's field goal drought of nearly 11 minutes with a 3-pointer, his first basket since early in the game, and his two free throws cut the Illini lead to 51-48 with 3:37 left. The Flames then retied the game on Paul Carter's 3-pointer with 2:51 to go.
The Illini missed 11 of their first 13 field goal attempts, were sloppy with five turnovers and fell behind 18-8 about halfway through the opening half. Kreps came out shooting and the Flames' leading scorer hit three 3-pointers in the first 5 minutes as the Flames jumped out to leads of 11-2 and 14-5. It was tied at 28 at halftime.