Poole’s layup fires Flames into NCAA Tournament
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) – Elliot Poole’s driving layup gave Illinois-
Chicago the lead with 34 seconds to play and the Flames held on for a 65-62
win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee to claim the Horizon League Tournament title.
Cedrick Banks, who also came up with a key steal in the closing seconds,
scored 14 points to lead Illinois-Chicago (24-7), which won its 12th straight
game and earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the third time.
Aaron Carr added 11 points in the victory, while Poole and Armond Williams
each scored 10. Williams also had a game-high 10 rebounds.
“I think our depth really came through for us,” UIC head coach Jimmy Collins
said. “Our bench guys got in there and played just as well as the starters.”
Dylan Page scored 20 points for defending tournament champion Wisconsin-
Milwaukee (19-10), which was playing on its home floor as the top seed in the
Ed McCants contributed 19 points for the Panthers and missed a potential tying
three-pointer just before time expired.
Poole snapped a 62-62 tie with a baseline drive to the hoop in the final
minute, but UWM still had plenty of time and tried to work the ball inside.
Banks, though, knocked the ball away from Page in the lane and Marcetteaus
McGee went to the line for a pair of free throws with 5.7 seconds left.
McGee hit the second shot from the stripe for a three-point lead, and the
Panthers made a couple of quick passes to get McCants open for a three-pointer
along the left wing. The shot, though, hit the side of the rim and the Flames
held on for the victory.
“What an exciting game,” Collins added. “If I was a fan, I think I could have
really, really enjoyed it.”
McCants made 5-of-11 three-point shots and Page hit 5-of-6, as UWM finished
10-of-21 from beyond the arc. The Panthers, though, finished a dismal 8-of-20
from the free throw line.
“We obviously missed a lot of shots that we would normally make and that hurt
us,” said UWM head coach Bruce Pearl.
UIC scored the first five points of the game and UWM didn’t reach the board
until a jumper by Kalombo Kadima 4 1/2 minutes into the contest.
The Flames led 8-2 before the Panthers reeled off the next nine points for an
11-8 edge. A jumper by McCants midway through the half gave UMW a 13-9 lead.
The Panthers led 21-19 with just under six minutes left after McCants buried a
three-pointer, but the Flames closed the half with a 14-5 run.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Carr gave UIC a 27-21 lead and the Flames
carried a 33-26 advantage to the break.
UWM opened the second half with a 12-4 run to take a 38-37 lead. McCants
capped the early surge with a three-pointer just under four minutes into the
Neither team led by more than two until a three-pointer by Page gave UWM a
51-46 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining. The Flames, though, answered
with seven straight to grab a 53-51 edge.
It remained tight from there.