Flames Knock Off Green Bay for Third-Straight HL Win, 60-57

Senior center Josh Crittle
Senior center Josh Crittle

Jan. 31, 2013

UIC 60, Green Bay 57 (Final Stats)Get Acrobat Reader

CHICAGO - Senior center Josh Crittledrained a pair of free throws with just 16 seconds remaining, helping the UIC men's basketball team erase a late-game deficit to defeat visiting Green Bay, 60-57, in a Horizon League game at the Pavilion Thursday night. With the victory, the Flames improved to 9-1 at home on the season, and tallied their first three-game Horizon League winning streak since the 2008-09 campaign.

Overall, UIC improved to 14-8, with a 5-4 mark in League play. Green Bay drops to 11-11 (5-4 Horizon). UIC is now in a three-way tie for fourth-place in the conference standings, alongside Wright State and Green Bay. The Flames haven't been 5-4 through nine Horizon League games since the 2004-05 season.

"I'm excited about the opportunities that this team has in front of them," said head coach Howard Moore. "Guys made winning plays tonight. Our seniors stepped up, and Hayden Humeshad a great game with his drives and knocking down shots from the perimeter. He was aggressive tonight when we needed it."

Junior forward Hayden Humes broke out of a scoring draught with a game-high 18 points on eight field goals, and pulled down nine rebounds. Crittle scored 15 points and corralled nine boards, while senior point guard Gary Taltonchipped in 10 points for his 40th career double-digit scoring output. Green Bay was led by sophomore point guard Keifer Sykes, who scored 18 points in 38 minutes. Center Alec Brown was limited to just nine points on 2-of-6 shooting.

Crittle scored UIC's final six points to preserve the come-from-behind win. With UIC trailing 57-54 after Brown's lone three-pointer, Crittle scored inside to pull UIC within 57-56 with 1:07 remaining. After UIC forced a defensive stop, Crittle was fouled with 16 seconds left, and drilled both ensuing free throws as the Flames reclaimed the lead, 58-57. He made two more freebies with just 1.8 seconds left after senior Anthony Kelleyswiped a timely steal from the hands of Sykes as the Phoenix were setting up for the final shot.

Green Bay claimed a 3-0 lead on the first possession of the game, and did not lead again until Brown's three-pointer that broke a 54-54 tie (1:41). UIC led 28-26 at halftime, and opened up a game-high 12-point lead (42-30) with 13:59 remaining in the second half.

The Flames opened the second stanza on a 9-0 run, claiming a commanding 37-26 lead before the first media timeout (17:42) of the second half - Crittle, Humes and Kelley all had field goals in the quick spurt. Green Bay pulled within three points at the 10:01mark after stringing together a 13-5 run.

But Talton hit a three on the other end to push UIC's advantage back to six (45-39), and the Flames led by at least five points for the ensuing 5:25. Brennan Cougill tied the game with a conventional three-point play with 3:18 left, and Brown's three with 1:41 remaining gave the Phoenix their largest lead of the game. Green Bay did not score again, going 0-for-2 from the floor with a pair of turnovers in the final 22 seconds.

UIC will wrap-up its two-game homestand on Saturday night, when the Flames host Cleveland State at the Pavilion beginning at 7:00 p.m.