Troy State falls to UIC, 76-61

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 31, 2000

TROY, Ala. – With a career-high 29 points from Malea Clark, Illinois-Chicago comes away with a 76-61 non-conference win over Troy State.

"We played well at times," said Troy State head coach Jerry Hester, whose team dropped to 3-6 on the season. "We just can’t turn the ball over at crucial times, like we did tonight."

The Lady Flames defense forced 16 turnovers, 11 coming in the second half. The full court press also took the Lady Trojans out of their rhythm, shooting 32.8 percent for the game (22-of-67).

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UIC was on fire for most of the game. Clark was 12-of-20 from the field, including 4-for-6 from three point land. She led the Flames to a 48.4 percent shooting night (31-of-64), finishing the game with a smoking second half, going 16-of-26 (61.4 percent).

The game began as a war, with neither team able to pull away. The Flames (2-8) took the largest lead of the half with a 17-12 lead after a free throw by Jaysie Chambers, with just under 13 minutes left in the half.

Troy State would come back, going on a 7-0 run to take a 19-17 lead on tip-in by Thea Herring. The two teams would battle back and forth for the rest of the half, featuring eight ties and eight lead changes, and ended with UIC leading, 37-35.

Clark, who scored 19 of her game-high 29 in the second half, was able to ignite the Lady Flames to a 15-1 run to start the second half, giving UIC a 52-36 lead. "That’s been our problem all season," commented Hester. "We have given up one big run each game and we just haven’t been able to overcome it."

Troy State would make a 10-2 run, cutting the lead to eight with just over 10 minutes left in the game on jumper by Kira McWaine. But the Flames wouldn’t blow out, holding on over the last few minutes to pull away, 76-61.

Troy State was led by freshman Thea Herring, who scored 13 points and pulled down six rebounds. Kenya Young and Tomekia Golatte both added nine points and seven rebounds.

Clark had 29 points to go along with seven assists. Chambers had 11 points and seven rebounds with Kimberly Henry adding 13 points.

The Lady Trojans are in action on Jan. 4, when the play host to Trans America Athletic Conference in-state rival, Samford. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Trojan Arena.