Men's Basketball Falls Short, Drops 72-69 Decision versus Detroit

Jan. 8, 2011

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CHICAGO - Seniors Paul Carter, Robo Kreps and K.C. Robbins combined to score 51 points and corral 25 rebounds, but visiting Detroit shot 59.3 percent from the field in the second half, and outlasted the UIC men's basketball team, 72-69 in a Horizon League game at the UIC Pavilion Saturday afternoon.

Carter recorded his sixth double-double of the season, and his third-straight in Horizon League play, scoring a team-high 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Robbins scored a career high 17 points and pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds en route to his second-career double-double, while Kreps chipped in 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

Detroit (10-7, 4-1 Horizon) was led by freshman Ray McCallum, who scored 17 points - he was joined in double figures by Jason Calliste (16 points) and LaMarcus Lowe, who had 11 points, five rebounds and six blocks.

The Flames (5-12, 0-5 Horizon) out-rebounded the Titans 39-34, marking the 11th time this season UIC has out-rebounded its opponent. UIC limited Detroit to just a 33.3 percent shooting effort in the first half, but saw the Titans score 47 second half points on 16 field goals.

For the second-consecutive game, UIC played without the services of senior center Darrin Williams, who was sidelined with an arm injury. Junior guard Zavion Neely also came off the bench for the first time this season, as he was suffering an illness. Senior forward Brad Birton and Detroit's Eli Holman were both ejected with 5:19 remaining in the first half after getting into an on-court altercation.

"The results of this game are certainly disappointing, but I'm pretty proud of my group," said head coach Howard Moore. "I thought our guys came out with a lot of focus. We're fighting a lot of adversity with injuries, and obviously an ejection in the middle of the first half.

"Our seniors really stepped up; and I really challenged them at the end of the Wright State game. Obviously we didn't get the results we were looking for, but it was good to see those guys respond to their coach. Detroit is a very good team; they did a nice job changing the momentum in the second half, and showed some resiliency."

UIC was in the lead for the majority of the first half, building a 20-10 lead after a tip-in by Robbins with 8:54 remaining. The Flames held at least a seven-point lead until the final three minutes, when a three-pointer by Chicago native Donavan Foster pulled the Titans within six (28-22) with 2:29 left in the opening stanza.

A lay-up by Detroit's Chris Blake cut the lead to 28-24 with 1:45 left, but UIC scored four-of the final five points of the half, taking a 32-25 lead into the locker room at halftime. UIC scored 12 points off second-chance points in the first half, but Detroit's bench countered by out-scoring UIC's reserves, 12-0.

Detroit went on a commanding 13-5 run to open the half, taking a 38-37 lead with 15:00 remaining. There were a combined six lead changes in the ensuing 3:48, before a conventional three-point play by McCallum gave Detroit a 54-48 lead with 10:02 left.

UIC was forced into a timeout with 8:35 remaining after falling behind by double digits (58-48). The Flames answered with a 13-6 run, and pulled back within one possession (64-61) with 3:12 remaining. Detroit's advantage was stretched back to seven points, 68-61 (1:36) after Chase Simon's first field goal. But UIC again answered, scoring six-straight points, capped off by a jumper by Carter, to pull within 68-67 with 29 seconds left.

Carter scored again with seven seconds left to pull UIC back within one (70-69), but after a missed free throw by Simon, McCallum corralled the offensive board, and scored with just 2.5 seconds remaining to provide the final margin.

UIC will return to the road next Thursday (Jan. 13), when the Flames travel to Milwaukee, Wis., to take on the Milwaukee Panthers, at 7 p.m.