MACOMB, Ill. - After trailing by 11 late in the first half, Western Illinois (8-3) closed its deficit to two points at half time, a run that continued into the second, and propelled the Fighting Leathernecks past the UIC Flames, 70-54, picking up their fifth-straight victory Tuesday evening (Dec. 18).
UIC (9-2) had won eight straight prior to Tuesday night's defeat, and entered the game ranked #15 in the CollegeInsider.com's Mid-Major Top 25.
Western had previously dropped nine straight to the Flames with its last victory UIC happening during the 1990-91 season. Western's 8-3 start is its best since the 1994-95 season.
Terell Parks recorded his third double-double of the 2012-13 season, scoring a game-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, and pulling down 11 rebounds. Parks also had two blocks, an assist, and did not turn the ball over.
Clark also dished out eight assists in the game, grabbed six rebounds, and had one steal. Houpt had three rebounds to go along with his 12 points, and played a team-high 39 minutes.
Don McAvoy III added nine points and three boards in the victory.
Western shot 52.4% in the game, while UIC was held to 36.2% shooting.
Both teams finished with less than 10 turnovers in the contest, with the Leathernecks finishing with eight and UIC tallying nine.
The Leathernecks found themselves down by 11 points with five minutes to play in the first half, 24-13, but went on a 11-3 run to close the period, and cut their deficit to two points, 27-25.
Western continued its run into the second half, eventually taking its first lead of the game - the only lead change of the game - at the 18:04 mark of the second, 31-30. From that point on, the Leathernecks gradually pulled away, never allowing UIC to get within nine through the final 11 minutes of play.
Western continues home action, and jumps back into Summit League play, December 27th at 7 p.m. against Oakland inside Western Hall.