Junior forward Jake Wiegand recorded a double-double to lead Illinois-Chicago to a 67-64 victory over visiting Western Illinois on Monday night at UIC Pavilion.
Wiegand had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Illinois-Chicago (1-1). Junior guard Paris Burns added 13 points and five rebounds.
Junior guard J.C. Fuller came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points for Western Illinois (0-2).
The game was closely contested throughout the opening period. Western Illinois took a 15-11 lead on a 3-pointer by Fuller with 12:18 to play in the half, but junior guard Gabe Snider made back-to-back 3-pointers moments later to put Illinois-Chicago up 17-15 with 11:16 to go.
The teams continued to exchange leads until the Flames mounted an 8-0 run to take a 27-22 lead with 6:33 remaining. The Leathernecks rallied to tie the game at 33-33 with 1:48 to play. The Flames reclaimed the lead on a dunk by Wiegand, but sophomore forward Mike Miklusak scored with one second left, sending the teams to the break deadlocked at 35-35.
The game remained close in the second half. Western Illinois went up 43-40 on a 3-pointer by junior guard Jamie Batish and later extended its lead to five, but Illinois-Chicago came back to take a 48-47 lead on two free throws by Burns. The Leathernecks briefly regained the lead, but the Flames staged an 8-1 run to build a 65-58 lead with less than a minute to play.
The Leathernecks rallied one last time, but Batish missed a 3-pointer as time expired.
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