Men's Basketball Falls at Detroit, 77-63

Kreps is just 42 points short of 1,500 for his career.
Kreps is just 42 points short of 1,500 for his career.

Feb. 3, 2011

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DETROIT - Senior guard Robo Kreps scored a game-high 25 points to move into a tie for ninth-place on the all-time scoring list, but host Detroit shot 54.8 percent from the field in the second half, defeating the UIC men's basketball team 77-63 at Calihan Hall Thursday night.

Kreps is now tied with Mark Miller (1995-98) with 1,458 career points - his 25 tallies against the Titans were just two points off his season-high mark. Junior center Darrin Williams (10 points) and Paul Carter (10) each joined Kreps in double figures.

Detroit was led by Chase Simon, who scored 20 points, including 14 in the second half; Nick Minnerath (14) and Ray McCallum also combined to score 26 points.

The Flames (6-17, 1-10 Horizon) battled Detroit to a 32-32 tie on the boards, but were out-scored 42-28 in the paint, 19-4 off turnovers and 18-4 through the fast break. UIC committed 20 turnovers in the game. There were a combined 14 ties and lead changes, and the score was tied (35-35) at halftime.

"Anytime you turn the ball over at the rate we did tonight, it's going to be a tough night," said UIC head coach Howard Moore. "Our guys got pretty fatigued out there; we've got a lot of guys playing a lot of minutes, and I thought it caught up to us a bit in the second half. We talked about overcoming both the mental and physical challenges aspects of being fatigued, because ultimately, when you're tired, that's when turnovers become an issue.

"We came out sharp to start, and played a great first half. To be tied with this team at halftime the way that both teams were shooting the ball was great, and it gave us a chance in the second half. You have to give Detroit credit; they attacked us, and capitalized on our mistakes."

UIC played an efficient first half on offense, shooting nearly 61 percent (.609) and scoring 18 points in the paint. The Flames jumped out to a 4-0 lead, which was stretched to 8-3 just over two minutes into the game. But Detroit hit three early three-pointers, and tied the game (12-12) heading into the first media timeout.

A three-pointer by Kreps with 9:46 remaining in the first half gave UIC a 21-17 lead. But Simon scored four quick points, and evened the score at 21-21 with 9:02 left. Dipanjot Singh hit a deep jumper at the 6:06 mark, stretching UIC's lead back to four (27-23). But Detroit again answered, scoring six-straight points to claim a 29-27 lead with 3:23 remaining in the opening stanza.

Chris Blake hit a running jumper with just under two minutes (1:56) remaining in the half, stretching the Titans' lead to four, 33-29. But the Flames ended the frame on a 6-2 run, capped off by four-straight points from Williams, to knot the score at 35-35 heading into the locker room at halftime.

While Detroit gained the lead for good just over two minutes into the second half, with 10:49 remaining, the Flames still trailed by only one possession (48-45). But Detroit went on a commanding 8-1 run, forcing UIC into a timeout trailing by ten, 56-46.

UIC could draw no closer than 11 points for the remainder of the game, falling behind by a game-high 16 points (66-50) with 3:44 remaining. Kreps made a late charge, scoring 10 points in just 1:36, including two three-pointers.

UIC will continue its three-game road trip Saturday, when the Flames travel to Dayton, Ohio to take on Wright State. Tip-off from the Nutter Center is set for 6 p.m. CST.