Hayden Humes led a balanced attack with 18 points as Illinois-Chicago continued its best start since 2003-04 with a 58-46 non-conference victory over host Northern Illinois on Tuesday. The Flames (5-1) led in all but the opening minutes at the Convocation Center in DeKalb, Ill. The Huskies (1-4) dropped their second straight. Daniel Barnes had 11 points and eight rebounds, while Gary Talton and Josh Crittle each added 10 points for UIC. Sam Mader paced Northern Illinois with 15 points. The Huskies held a 3-2 lead 72 seconds into the game before the Flames launched an 11-2 run -- including five straight points from Humes -- to claim an advantage they never relinquished. UIC led 27-19 by half, with Barnes collecting eight first-half points. The Flames led by as many as 14 in the second half, but the Huskies crept back to within seven with 3:27 to play on two Akeem Springs free throws. Crittle replied with five free throws over a 31-second span to expand the Flames' advantage to 56-44. UIC now holds a 23-15 series lead and has won 11 of the last 15 meetings, including a 62-55 win in December 2011. Northern Illinois' last series victory was on Dec. 14, 2010, an 80-78 win behind Xavier Silas' Convocation Center record 40 points. The Flames, off to their best start since going 6-1 in 2003-04, play at Northwestern on Saturday before returning home to face Roosevelt on Dec. 5. The Huskies travel to Dayton on Saturday, then host Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Dec. 5.
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