Illinois-Chicago hit nine for 10 free throws in the final 39 seconds to keep Iona at arm's length on the way to an 86-81, come-from-behind victory for fourth place at the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam in St. Thomas on Monday.
Gary Talton and Josh Crittle each had four free throws and Marc Brown added another to help the Flames (3-1) maintain the late lead.
Trailing 70-58, UIC climbed back into contention as Talton scored nine straight points in a 12-0 run to force a 70-70 tie with 3:44 to play. The Flames finally went ahead for good at 74-73 on two Brown free throws with 2:25 left in regulation.
Hayden Humes led a balanced UIC attack with 22 points, hitting four of five 3-point shots. He is 12-for-19 (63.2 percent) on long-distance shots this season. Humes also had a team-high eight rebounds. Talton added 17 points, Daniel Barnes had 16, and Crittle scored 13.
Lamont Jones paced the Gaels (2-2) with 22 points. Sean Armand scored 20 points, and Tre Bowman added 18 for Iona.
Iona rallied from a 27-21 first half deficit on the way to a 38-33 halftime lead, capped by Armand's buzzer-beating tip.
The game was the teams' second-ever meeting. Iona beat UIC 86-65 in 1983 in New Rochelle, N.Y.