Flames' Comeback Bid Falls Short at Loyola, 68-59
Jan. 22, 2011
CHICAGO - Senior guard Robo Kreps scored a game-high 19 points and passed the 1,400 career-point plateau, but the UIC men's basketball team fell short at Loyola, 68-59, despite holding the Ramblers without a field goal for the final 6:19 Saturday afternoon at the Joseph J. Gentile Center.
Kreps becomes just the tenth player in school history to eclipse 1,400 career points. Senior K.C. Robbins chipped in eight points, while Paul Carter recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Loyola was led by Geoff McCammon's 19 points on five three-point field goals - he was joined in double figures by Courtney Stanley (13 points) and Ben Averkamp (12).
The Flames (5-15, 0-8 Horizon) out-rebounded the Ramblers 36-32, but committed 18 turnovers, leading to 21 points by Loyola (12-8, 3-6).
"When we went inside early, we got some good looks, and were pretty aggressive," said head coach Howard Moore. "But we didn't rebound well in the first half. When the ball came off the rim, there was always a gold jersey there to corral it, and put the ball back in the basket.
"Then, we got ourselves into a hole. Some of that was due to turnovers, and a lot of it was due to a lack of focus. We committed 18 turnovers against a team that doesn't pressure much, and that was tough for us to overcome. Give credit to Loyola, they took it to us today."
The game was a back-and-forth affair for the opening 10 minutes, before Loyola went on a quick 5-0 run to take a 24-17 lead with 7:55 remaining in the opening half. The Ramblers' advantage was stretched to 11 points (30-19) with 4:20 left after a field goal by Stanley.
After a lay-up by Kreps pulled UIC within ten (35-25), Stanley and McCammon combined to score five quick points, and Loyola took a 40-25 lead with 38 seconds remaining in the first half. Dorian Tyler hit a deep jumper as time expired at the end of the frame, giving the Ramblers a 40-27 advantage heading into the locker room at halftime.
Loyola scored the first eight points of the second half, and took a 47-29 lead with 16:44 remaining, forcing the Flames into their first timeout of the frame. Two free throws by Stanley with 12:28 left gave the Ramblers a game-high 20-point (55-35) lead.
After falling behind 59-40, the Flames charged back, going on a commanding 12-3 run to pull back within ten, 62-52, with 4:34 left. A lay-up by Carter and deep three by Kreps trimmed the deficit to 62-57 with 1:34 remaining. UIC then forced two-straight defensive stops, but Kreps and Carter both missed ensuing three-point shots that would have pulled the Flames back within one possession.
Loyola hit six free throws down the stretch, including three by Andy Polka, to hold off the Flames' late rally.
UIC will return home next Thursday (Jan. 27) to take on Cleveland State beginning at 7 p.m. CST. The game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.