Updated: January 16, 2014 10:07PM
Even before the tip, UIC’s game against Milwaukee on Thursday at the UIC Pavilion looked ominous. Kelsey Barlow, the Flames’ leading scorer, sprained his right ankle in practice Wednesday.
Barlow played but didn’t start and largely was ineffective, spending most of his time around the perimeter.
But by the end of a 67-63 loss to the Panthers, Barlow’s ankle was low on the list of reasons the Flames (5-13, 0-4 Horizon League) lost their seventh consecutive game. UIC committed 16 turnovers, which was chief among the reasons it was unable to put away Milwaukee, which trailed by 13 at the half.
The Panthers (13-6, 3-2) scored 23 points off turnovers.
“That’s just too much [turnovers] and it’s not a formula for winning games,” UIC coach Howard Moore said. “We’ve got to keep fighting. I have to stay positive with this group, but at some point the urgency has to kick in.”
That halftime lead was largely thanks to the relentlessness of sophomore forward Jake Wiegand who finished the game with 14 points and nine rebounds. But his presence was felt even more on loose balls and back-tipped rebounds.
Wiegand battled foul trouble all night and was whistled for his third just 1:16 into the second half. Moore was forced to sit him, which opened the lane for Milwaukee’s guards to penetrate and kick. After shooting 4-of-14 from three-point range in the first half, the Panthers went 5-for-10 in the second.
During Wiegand’s absence, which lasted 5:08, Milwaukee climbed back into the game. At the time Wiegand left, the Flames led by nine. When he re-entered, they were up by two.
Moore pointed to Milwaukee’s aggressiveness in the second half and UIC’s lack of assertiveness on both ends as reasons for the collapse.
Marc Brown led UIC with 18 points, Jay Parker scored 12. In 26 minutes, Barlow had five points and four rebounds.