CHICAGO, Ill. – Cleveland State used a strong second half and held UIC without a field goal over the final six minutes to claim a 66-63 win over the Flames on Saturday afternoon at UIC Pavilion as head coach Gary Waters coached in his CSU record 361st career game at CSU.
Waters broke a tie with Ray Dieringer who coached in 360 career games at CSU.
CSU improved to 8-18 overall and 4-10 in the Horizon League, while the Flames fell to 13-13 overall (6-7 HL).
- Bobby Word led the Vikings with 13 points, including a 6-of-10 effort at the free throw line. His 10 attempts were a career-high. Word added three steals.
- Rob Edwards scored 12 points with two steals, while Demonte Flannigan added 11 points and four rebounds.
- Jibri Blount finished with eight points, three rebounds and two steals.
- Kenny Carpenter scored seven points with five rebounds and three assists and Kasheem Thomas posted seven points and four rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Vikings took a 12-10 lead at the 14:32 mark on a Word three-pointer, but the Flames responded with a 21-9 run over the next six-plus minutes to open up their largest lead of the half (31-21).
- CSU came back with a 12-4 run to pull within two points (35-33) with 1:47 left in the half on a pair of free throws from Jibri Blount.
- UIC held a 39-35 lead at the half as the Flames shot 14-of-25 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.
- CSU shot .500 (12-24) from the field in the first 20 minutes.
- The Vikings used a 13-2 run to open the second half and take a 48-41 lead on a pair of free throws from Word 4:30 into the second half.
- CSU used a strong defensive effort to start the half – forcing four UIC turnovers – to spark its run.
- The Flames scored the next six points to pull within one point (48-47), but a three-pointer from Edwards and basket from Blount extended the CSU lead back to six points (53-47).
- A jumper from Dominique Matthews – which was UIC's final made field goal of the game – gave the Flames a 59-58 lead with 5:54 to play and Tarkus Ferguson hit a pair of free throws to push the lead to three points (61-58) with 4:23 left.
- However, the Vikings closed the game on an 8-2 run to earn the win.
- UIC had one final chance to tie with 2.5 seconds to play, but its length of the court pass was intercepted by Terrell Hales and he dribbled out the clock.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Today was the 361st career game as head coach for Gary Waters at Cleveland State. He has now coached the most games in program history, breaking a tie with Ray Dieringer who coached in 360 games at CSU.
- After shooting 56-percent in the first half, the Vikings held UIC to 7-of-23 (.304) in the second half as the Flames didn't make a field goal over the final six minutes.
- CSU won the rebounding battle, 30-28, and made 10 steals.
- The Vikings forced 18 turnovers which they turned into 26 points.
- There were 10 lead changes in the contest.
- The Vikings return home to host Northern Kentucky on Thursday (Feb. 16) night at 7:45 pm in the Wolstein Center.
- The game will be broadcast live on Spectrum Sports.
- It is also a doubleheader with the CSU women hosting Wright State at 5:30 pm.