Tai Odiase had 19 points on 8-for-8 shooting and three blocks, Godwin Boahen hit four three-pointers and finished with 16 points and UIC beat host Oakland (Mich.) 79-73 on Friday night for its fifth win in a row.
Marcus Ottey added 15 points and Tarkus Ferguson had 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Flames (13-11, 8-3 Horizon League). UIC has eight conference wins for the first time since finishing the 2007-08 season 9-9 in Horizon League play.
Odiase had a dunk and two layups during a 6-2 spurt that made it 17-14, and UIC led the rest of the way. Ferguson converted a three-point play to spark a 10-2 run that pushed the lead to 11 points before Boahen’s three-pointer made it 40-30 at the break.
Nick Daniels hit a three that pulled the Grizzlies (14-10, 6-5) within two points with two minutes to play, but Ottey made two free throws and Odiase hit a jumper to make it 76-69. UIC made 4 of 6 free throws in the final 32 seconds to seal it.
Martez Walker had 21 points and Jalen Hayes 15 for Oakland. Former Illini Kendrick Nunn scored 20 but was 3-for-22 from the field, including 1-for-10 from three-point range.