To say that Illinois-Chicago locked Mercer down Saturday is a little bit like proclaiming that Miguel Cabrera can hit the fastball.
Holding the Bears to seven field goals in each half and blanking them from the 3-point line, the Flames routed the Atlantic Sun Conference favorites 62-36 in a consolation round game of the Paradise Jam at the University of the Virgin Islands.
UIC (2-1) built on a strong second half performance in a 66-59 opening round defeat against New Mexico Friday, when it erased all but two points of a 14-point halftime deficit. In this one, it led 30-19 at halftime and shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half to put the game away.
Gary Talton and Hayden Humes each scored 14 for the balanced Flames, combining to sink 11 of 16 field goals. Humes was perfect from the 3-point arc, going 4 of 4.
UIC limited Mercer (2-2), which won last year's Collegeinsiders.com tourney, to 14-of-43 field-goal shooting and forced 17 turnovers. It also rebounded the much taller Bears 30-27, with Daniel Barnes ripping down a game-high seven.
The Flames play the Wake Forest-Iona winner Monday at 4 p.m. ET for fifth place.