Down 53-49 with 4:43 remaining, the Wright State men's basketball team closed out the game with a 9-0 run to defeat UIC 58-53 in Horizon League action at WSU's Nutter Center Sunday night.
The Flames scored the first five points of the contest and led throughout much of the first half until WSU went in front for the first time at 23-22 on two AJ Pacher free throws at the 4:16 mark. Another Pacher foul shot made it 24-22 before UIC regained the advantage with five straight points en route to a 27-26 halftime edge.
UIC shot 39 percent from the field, including three of six from behind the arc, in the opening 20 minutes while the Raiders shot 28 percent, but Wright State was 10 of 12 at the foul line compared to six of 12 for the Flames.
The Flames extended the lead to 34-28 early in the second half, only to see WSU go back in front 40-39 on a Pacher layup with 11:38 to play. Neither team then had more than a three-point advantage until two Kelsey Barlow free throws made it 53-49 at the 4:43 mark.
It was all Raiders from there, however, as Reggie Arceneaux connected on a three to draw Wright State to within one and Pacher followed with a basket to put WSU up 54-53 with 2:42 to go.
After a missed shot and turnover on UIC's next possession, the Raiders came away empty twice, but a pair of offensive rebounds by Miles Dixon and Cole Darling set the stage for Arceneaux, who hit two foul shots at the 14.4-second mark to make it a three-point game.
The Flames had a chance to tie it, but Hayden Humes missed a three-attempt from the the top of the circle and Jerran Young hit a pair of free throws with 0.8 seconds left to seal the WSU victory.
Both teams struggled from the field as UIC finished at 36 percent and Wright State at 34 percent, but the difference came at the foul line as the Raiders were 22 of 25, 12 of 13 in the second half, compared to 14 of 22 for the Flames.
Pacher, who was 11 of 13 at the stripe, led WSU with 17 points while Young had 13 off the bench and Arceneaux added 10.
Barlow paced UIC (5-12, 0-3 Horizon) with 19 points while Marc Brown had 14 points and Jordan Harks had 11 rebounds.
Wright State (11-8, 3-1 Horizon) hosts Green Bay in a key league matchup on Friday at 7:00. The game will televised on ESPNU.