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UIC routs Eastern Michigan behind Daniel Barnes’ career game

Updated: January 17, 2013 6:48AM

Last season, guard Daniel Barnes went into UIC’s game at Eastern Michigan with the wrong mentality. Having started his college career with the Eagles, Barnes was intent on making a personal statement offensively.

But when the Flames hosted Eastern Michigan on Saturday at the Pavilion, Barnes’ approach was entirely different. He focused on his defense and allowed his
offense to come, resulting in a strong performance that sparked UIC to a 74-48 victory.

Barnes scored a career-high 30 points for a Flames team that struggled offensively in the first half.

‘‘His mentality was not ready for that type of situation [last season],’’ UIC coach Howard Moore said. ‘‘The maturation of Daniel Barnes shows in the stats today. Going into this game, it wasn’t about him; it was about his team.’’

Moore was visibly upset about the Flames’ lack of aggressiveness offensively in the first half. He thought his team missed several chances, and UIC went scoreless for a stretch of 6:30 before halftime.

The Flames were a completely different team in a second half, shooting 60.7 percent from the field. After leading by only five points at halftime, UIC outscored the Eagles 50-29 in the second half.

As usual, though, it was the Flames’ defense that kept them in control of the game from the start.

‘‘We try our best to defend night in and night out and work on it
day in and day out in practice,’’ Barnes said.

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