Flames Outlasted by Preseason Favorite Valpo, 75-70

Senior center Josh Crittle
Senior center Josh Crittle

Jan. 9, 2013

Valpo 75, UIC 70 (Stats)Get Acrobat Reader

CHICAGO - Senior point guard Gary Talton poured in a career-high 25 points, and the Flames led by as many as nine points in the second half, but preseason Horizon League favorite Valparaiso shot 56.5 percent from the field in the second half to outlast the UIC men's basketball team at the Pavilion, 75-70.

With the loss, UIC dropped to 10-6 overall, with a 1-2 Horizon League mark. Valpo upped its record to 12-5 and 2-1 in League play.

Talton's game-high 25 points was bolstered by an 11-for-11 effort from the free throw line. He was joined in double figures by senior center Josh Crittle, who scored 16 points, and junior forward Hayden Humes, who chipped in 12. Valpo's Ryan Broekhoff doubled up the Flames with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and center Kevin Van Wijk scored 16 points, including 14 in the first half.

UIC was a perfect 18-for-18 from the charity stripe in the game, while Valpo was 25-of-30. The Flames scored 23 points off turnovers, but the Crusaders' bench produced 28 points to UIC's 11. There were a combined 18 ties and lead changes in the game.

"I thought we did a really good job handling their (Valparaiso's) stuff and controlling (Ryan) Broekhoff, but we couldn't control (Kevin) Van Wijk," said head coach Howard Moore. "He got our bigs in foul trouble, and we had to go deep into our bench. We hung tough, but in the second half they really imposed their will on us, and we didn't have enough to sustain their run at the end of the game.

"Against this team, when you have an opportunity to get some easy baskets, you better convert, and we didn't do that well enough. I think we missed four layups in the first half, and you've got to convert those. That hurt us."

Valpo led 33-30 at halftime, breaking a 30-30 tie after Broekhoff drilled a corner three with time winding down. The Crusaders led from the 14:14 to the 4:18 mark of the half, before UIC made a quick charge to tie the score, 24-24, after an offensive rebound and put back by senior guard Daniel Barnes. Freshman Jake Wiegand converted a deep jumper with 1:44 left to tie the game at 28-28, but Van Wijk and Broekhoff combined to score Valpo's final four points of the frame.

Humes got hot early in the second half, making a pair of threes to help the Flames build a 43-35 lead at the first media timeout (15:39). But Valpo quickly answered, tying the score at 46-46 with 13:04 remaining - the run was capped off with a transition three by LaVonte Dority. There were a combined seven ties and lead changes in the ensuing 10:07, before Valpo claimed a 61-58 lead (2:57) after another three by Dority. Crittle converted a conventional three-point play on the other end, tying the score at 61-61 with 2:34 remaining. But Broekhoff hit a deep jumper with 2:23 left, giving Valpo a 65-61 lead that it would not relinquish down the stretch.

UIC will travel to Green Bay, Wis., to take on the Phoenix this Saturday (Jan. 12) beginning at 3:00 p.m. CST. The game will be carried live on ESPN Chicago (WMVP-AM 1000), the official radio home for UIC Basketball.