Kreps Scores 1,500th Career Point in 72-65 Loss at Butler

Feb. 7, 2011

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INDIANAPOLIS - Senior guard Robo Kreps scored a game-high 22 points to join the 1,500 career-point club, and Paul Carter added his Horizon League leading 11th double-double of the season, but the spirited UIC men's basketball team fell just short against host Butler, 72-65 at Hinkle Fieldhouse Monday night.

Kreps became just the ninth player in program history to score 1,500 or more points in a career; he begins UIC's upcoming homestand 38 points shy of moving into a tie for eighth-place all-time (1,538) on the all-time scoring list. Carter scored 18 points on seven field goals, including two three-pointers, and pulled down a game-high 11 points for his eighth double-double during Horizon League play.

Butler was led by preseason All-Horizon League pick Shelvin Mack's 17 points - he was joined in double figures by Khyle Marshall (11), Ronald Nored (10) and Zach Hahn (10).

The Flames (6-19, 1-12 Horizon) shot 45.0 percent from the field, countered by Butler's (16-9, 8-5) 50.9 percent effort. UIC also drilled six three-pointers, and has converted a combined 14 threes in the past two games.

"I'm not into moral victories," said UIC head coach Howard Moore. "But I can appreciate what Butler has accomplished; I have a tremendous amount of respect for what Brad (Stevens) and his staff have gotten done here. I was tremendously proud to see my guys come out and compete the way they did today against this great program.

"It was obviously a close one throughout, but I have to give Butler a lot of credit for disrupting our out-of-bounds plays. They did a good job of taking away a lot of our entries, and those turnovers turned out to be crucial possessions. They turned into scores for them, and that made a difference down the stretch. We also really struggled from the free throw line in the second half."

UIC jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but saw Butler answer with a 12-3 run, and take a 12-7 lead with 14:43 remaining in the first half. Both teams traded baskets over the ensuing seven and a half minutes, before UIC went on a convincing 8-0 spurt, and took a 26-23 lead at the 4:51 mark. Dipanjot Singh and Carter each had threes, while senior center K.C. Robbins added a put back during the stretch.

Marshall evened the score at 26-26 with a three on the other end; but Brad Birton and Darrin Williams both scored inside on the ensuing two possessions, helping the Flames protect a two-point lead (30-28) heading into the final two-minute stretch. UIC led 33-31 with under one-minute (52 seconds) remaining, and had a chance to extend the advantage in the waning seconds, as Kreps intercepted Nored's pass.

Kreps then turned it over with three seconds remaining, and Butler took its second timeout (2.7 seconds). Shawn Vanzant re-claimed momentum for Butler heading into the locker room at halftime, hitting a 25-foot three-pointer as time expired. The Bulldogs led 34-33 at the break.

The lead flip-flopped three times in the opening 2:30 of the second half - Carter started out hot for the Flames, hitting a three-pointer and a driving runner to help the Flames jump ahead 39-38 with 17:31 remaining. Butler scored the next six points of the game, building a 44-39 advantage at the 15:13 mark.

The Bulldogs' lead reached seven points (51-44) with 11:13 remaining, and was stretched to double-digits (57-46) with 8:12 left following a transition lay-up by Zach Hahn. Mack converted a lay-up one possession later to give Butler its largest lead, 59-46, with 7:42 remaining.

The Flames again charged back, out-scoring Butler 12-3 over the ensuing 3:04, and pulled back within four (62-58) with 4:38 remaining. Mack scored four-of the Bulldogs' ensuing six points, helping Butler push its lead back to double-digits (68-58) at the 2:35 mark.

Back-to-back field goals by Birton and Carter cut the deficit to 70-63 with 36 seconds remaining, but the Flames could draw no closer down the stretch. Both teams scored 38 points in the paint, but Butler out-scored the Flames 20-15 off turnovers, 6-0 through the fast break and 31-15 on the bench.

UIC will kick-off a four-game homestand on Thursday (2/10/11), when the Flames entertain Green Bay at the UIC Pavilion beginning at 7 p.m. CST. The Phoenix defeated the Flames at the Resch Center, 74-50, on Jan. 15.