Women’s hoops loses overtime thriller to UIC
The game between the Raiders and the Flames Thursday night in Chicago resembled a stubborn car engine—after a sputtering start, it roared to a finish.
What began as a poorly-executed first half of basketball turned into an overtime thriller as Illinois-Chicago topped Wright State 81-78. A fifth straight loss sank WSU (10-15, 4-8) to seventh in the Horizon League standings, half a game below UIC (8-16, 4-7) and one game above last place Milwaukee, a team WSU hosts Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
During the first 20 minutes, it appeared the massive snow storm making its way across the Midwest had not only cooled off the state of Illinois, but the players inside the UIC Pavilion. WSU started one of 12 from the field while UIC made their first shot after six-and-a-half minutes of play. The Raiders and the Flames failed to find the basket with any consistency, and WSU held a 10-6 lead after 10 minutes of play.
Both teams sputtered into their locker rooms, but the Raiders built a 66-49 lead with 5:29 remaining in the game behind a charge from Demmings and Elkins, who scored all 21 of her points in the second half.
At this point of the game, UIC Head coach Regina Miller asked her team, “Do you want to fight or do you want to go home?” The Flames answered their coach’s call and the Raiders’ run with one of their own. UIC clawed its way back to tie the game at 66 after guard Rachel Story’s three-pointer capped a 17-2 run.
WSU regained the lead on two Stucke free throws, and led by four with 16 seconds left. UIC guard Emily Kobel then dropped in a layup and was fouled by Kayla Lamotte. Kobel missed the ensuing free throw, but forward Katie Hannemann put back the missed foul shot and tied the game at 71 with 4.2 seconds left. A Demmings jumper found the edge of the rim as regulation expired.
James stole a UIC inbound pass in overtime, but missed a pull-up three with just over three seconds left. Flames freshman Marrisa Grossfeld then missed two free-throws, which kept the Raiders down one possession. With one second left, Stucke relayed an Elkins’ baseball pass to Demmings for the game-tying heave, but the horn sounded before Demmings shot went off.
Kim Demmings recorded a triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the loss. KC Elkins also filled the stat sheet with 21 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Breanna Stucke added nine points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Ivory James scored 10 points and Brianna Innocent added seven points and eight rebounds.
UIC’s Hannemann led all scorers with a career-high 35 points to go along with a game-high 15 rebounds.