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Danny Barnes, Gary Talton propel UIC to milestone victory in 80-69 win over Chicago State

Updated: April 22, 2013 12:25PM

UIC recorded the first postseason victory in program history by picking up the pace against Chicago State.

Typically, the Flames have slowed things down and tried to force opponents to contend with their stingy half-court defense.

But in an 80-69 victory Wednesday in the first round of the Tournament at the Pavilion, UIC found open shots by pushing the ball in transition. The Flames (18-15) shot 61.9 percent in the first half and hit 10 three-pointers.

Northern Iowa (19-14) will be UIC’s second-round CIT opponent on Saturday night in Cedar Falls.

The Flames led by 20 in the first half after they hit unanswered three-pointers on four consecutive possessions. But on the strength of 16 forced turnovers, Chicago State (11-22) took a two-point lead with seven minutes left in the game.

But as has been the case in a number of close contests, UIC relied on senior guards Danny Barnes and Gary Talton to close out the game.

Barnes scored seven points in the final five minutes and Talton hit all four of his free throws as the Flames blunted the Cougars’ bid. Barnes scored 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and sank six threes. Talton had 12 points (despite going 1-for-10 from the field) and eight assists.

“I’m proud of how my guys battled in the second half, because we knew there was going to be a surge,” UIC coach Howard Moore said.

The Cougars, who got 19 points from Matt Ross, actually scored one more field goal than UIC. But the Flames got to the line 12 more times, sinking 28 of 36 free throws.

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