CHICAGO - Richard Carter scored 24 of his career-high 38 points in the second half, helping the Drake men's basketball team pick up a win in coach Ray Giacoletti's debut.
Drake defeated Illinois-Chicago 61-59, fighting through a first-half deficit and withstanding a pair of last-second attempts for the Phoenix.
"To come on the road, in our first time playing together with the new coach, I think we showed great composure and I'm excited about this team," Carter said.
Carter finished 12-of-17 from the field and 12-of-12 at the free-throw line, scoring more points than any Bulldog since Lynnrick Rogers tallied the same in 1997.
Drake trailed by as many as nine points in the first half, went into the break down five, but eventually took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Karl Madison with 10:35 left to play, 43-42.
The Bulldogs built up a nine-point lead until an 11-3 run by UIC got the host team to within 58-57.
Madison made one of two free-throw attempts with 21 seconds left to put Drake in front 61-59. Illinois-Chicago came up empty on Gabe Snider's 3-point shot and Hayden Humes' putback attempt inside the final 10 seconds.
"I couldn't be more proud of them," said Giacoletti. "We dug ourselves a hole and you appreciate when a team, especially on the road, can dig themselves out of something like that in game one of the season. That's something we can build on."
Gary Ricks Jr. contributed 10 points and six rebounds for Drake, while Marshalltown Community College graduate Chris Caird got four points and a game-high seven rebounds.
Marc Brown paced the Phoenix (0-1) with 20 points, Kelsey Barlow added 11 and Hayden Humes 10.
Drake is back in action with its first home game on Tuesday, entertaining Iowa Wesleyan in a 7:05 p.m. game at the Knapp Center in Des Moines.
OHIO 75, NORTHERN IOWA 64
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio Bobcats hit 52 percent of their shots and turned the ball over just six times Saturday during a 75-64 home win over Northern Iowa in men's basketball action at the Convocation Center.
The hot shooting night for the Bobcats included an 11-for-23 performance from long range. Ohio jumped out to a 23-13 lead and never looked back in the win. The Panthers got as close as 67-63 late in the second half but the Bobcats pulled away to close it out.
Deon Mitchell was the only starter in double-figures for the Panthers as he finished with 18 points and three assists. Chip Rank led the reserves with 14 points off the bench, while Jeremy Morgan added 13 points but also turned it over five times.
Seth Tuttle was just 3-for-10 from the floor and the Panthers were 19-of-49 in the game and buried just 6-of-22 from long range. They out-rebounded the Bobcats but couldn't overcome a poor shooting night.
Maurice Ndour led the Bobcats with 20 points, while Nick Kellogg had 16, Ricardo Johnson 14 and Stevie Taylor 10. Taylor also added eight assists and Kellogg and Ndour each pulled down five rebounds.
Northern Iowa (0-1) opens the home schedule inside the McLeod Center on Monday when it takes on Coe College at 7 p.m.
MINNESOTA 73, NORTHERN IOWA 55
CEDAR FALLS - Hosting a power conference school in their season opener did not work out so well for the Northern Iowa women's basketball team on Saturday.
The Panthers shot just 30 percent from the floor, turned the ball over 17 times and couldn't overcome a large halftime deficit during a 73-55 win against Minnesota at the McLeod Center.
The Gophers led 40-15 at the break and overcame 23 turnovers because it held the Panthers to 19 points in the paint.
All-Big Ten guard Rachel Banham led the Gophers (1-0) with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Shayne Mullaney added 14 and Micaella Riche and Jackie Johnson both scored 13. The Gophers hit 60 percent of their shots and dominated the paint in the victory. Minnesota never trailed and led by as many as 30 in the second half.
The Panthers were led by Stephanie Davison's career-high 23 points, while Erin Dohnalek was the only other player in double figures with 12. Freshman Madison Weekly was just 2-of-14 in her debut as she scored seven points. The Panthers were 7-of-30 from 3-point range.