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    Feb. 2, 2013

    Cleveland State 77, UIC 66Get Acrobat Reader

    CHICAGO - The UIC men's basketball team dropped a 77-66 decision against visiting Cleveland State at the Pavilion Saturday night, falling for just the second time at home this season. CSU built a 22-point second half lead, and held off a commanding run by the Flames down the stretch to pick up its first Horizon League road win of the season.

    Overall, UIC dropped to 14-9, with a 5-5 mark in League play. Cleveland State improved to 11-12 and 3-6. The Vikings recorded their 12th-straight win over UIC, dating back to the 2008-09 campaign.

    Senior point guard Gary Talton scored a team-high 16 points, pacing a group of four Flames in double figures. Cleveland State was led by Marlin Mason, who poured in 22 points on eight field goals. The Vikings held a 38-24 advantage on the boards, and their bench out-scored UIC's reserves, 37-17.

    "As a whole, we didn't handle Cleveland State's pressure as well as we needed to," said head coach Howard Moore. "But we scored enough points to win the game. The bottom line tonight was that we didn't defend. They shot 50 percent from the field on our home court, and got 37 points from their bench. That's the key to the game."

    Cleveland State led 34-26 at halftime, bolstered by Mason scoring 11 points on four field goals, including a pair of three-pointers. The Vikings shot 42.9 percent from the floor, and finished the frame on an 8-3 spurt. UIC pulled within one possession (26-23) after a drive and finish by senior forward Anthony Kelley, but Junior Lomomba countered with back-to-back threes, and Mason tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer to give the Vikings the eight-point advantage heading into the locker room at halftime.

    Senior forward Anthony Kelley scored the first points of the second half to pull UIC back within six (34-28), but the Flames did not convert another field goal until the 13:39 mark, after sophomore point guard Jay Parker hit a three-pointer from the right wing. During the spurt, CSU built an 18-point advantage, 46-28. At the 11:19 mark, UIC was forced into a timeout after falling behind, 53-34. CSU freshman guard Bryn Forbes capped off a 5-0 run with a three from the corner in front of the Vikings' bench.

    UIC went on a 13-0 run over a 4:25 span late in the second half, pulling within 60-53 coming out of the final media timeout (3:53). But Cleveland State forced two-straight turnovers, and UIC didn't convert another field goal until the 1:13 mark, after the Vikings had built their lead back to double-digits.

    UIC will begin a four-game road trip next Tuesday (Feb. 5), when the Flames travel to first-place Valparaiso (7:00 p.m.). The Crusaders defeated visiting Milwaukee, 71-40, at the ARC on Friday night.