Kreps Hits Buzzer-Beater in Overtime, Flames Defeat Green Bay, 63-61

Feb. 10, 2011

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CHICAGO - Senior guard Robo Kreps hit a driving runner as time expired in overtime, lifting the UIC men's basketball team to a 63-61 win over visiting Green Bay in a Horizon League game at the UIC Pavilion Thursday night. The victory marked UIC's second-straight at home.

Kreps, who scored 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, came off a screen from senior Paul Carter near the top of the key, drove left and converted an up-and-under move, releasing the shot just before the final horn. Carter ended the night with a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds, including four points in overtime.

Senior Brad Birton added eight points, and six for sophomore point guard Corey Gray, who played a career-high 39 minutes. Green Bay was led by Alec Brown, who scored 14 points - he was joined in double figures by Jarvis Williams, who chipped in 13 points. The Flames (7-19, 2-12 Horizon) held guard Rahmon Fletcher (9) and Bryquis Perine (8) to a combined 17 points.

"It was just a gutsy, gutsy effort by our guys tonight," said UIC head coach Howard Moore. "They really showed some resiliency. We talked about how we got our tails kicked up in Green Bay almost two weeks ago, and I told our guys, if you're going to respond, you've got to do it at home in the right way.

"It started with our defense. We guarded, and that was the key. We held Green Bay way below their average shooting percentage, as well as their points-per-game average. We gutted it out, and Robo (Kreps) obviously picked us up at the end. But Paul (Carter) set the tone in overtime. We got that first defensive stop, and then Paul made a strong move to the basket on our first possession (of overtime). It was a classic case of two senior captains stepping up and leading their team to a victory."

Green Bay (12-13, 6-7) claimed a 26-24 lead at halftime after a combined 10 ties and lead changes in the opening 20 minutes. UIC's largest lead was four points (17-13), while the Phoenix grabbed led by two points on four occasions. Carter scored 10 points in the first half to lead UIC, as did Brown for Green Bay.

The second frame was just as tightly contested, with a combined 23 ties and lead changes. Neither team led by more than two points until a three-pointer by Gray with 6:36 remaining gave UIC its largest lead, 50-45. Green Bay countered with a timeout, and rolled off six-straight points to claim a 51-50 advantage with 5:07 left.

UIC's next lead came with 3:50 remaining, after Carter drilled two free throws to give the Flames a 54-53 advantage. Carter scored again at the 1:00 mark, breaking a 54-54 tie, and giving the Flames a 56-54 lead. That score held up until the final possession. After two missed field goals by the Flames, Green Bay took over possession with just 17 seconds left.

Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle called timeout with just one second remaining, drawing up what would end up being the game-tying field goal. Fletcher cut hard to the basket, caught the in-bound pass, and laid the ball in as time expired in regulation, forcing overtime with a 56-56 tally.

UIC started the overtime session by forcing a defensive stop, followed by a driving field goal by Carter that gave the Flames a 58-56 lead. Fletcher answered with a three on the other end, re-claiming the lead for the Phoenix, 59-58. Both teams went scoreless for the ensuing 1:22, until Carter tipped in his own miss, giving UIC the one-point (60-59) lead with 2:27 left in overtime.

Fletcher again answered, converting a jumper with 1:59 remaining to give Green Bay its final lead, 61-60. Gray drove the lane on UIC's ensuing possession, and was fouled by Williams. He converted 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game at 61-61. Fletcher came up short on a driving attempt on the other end, giving the Flames possession of the ball with 1:00 left.

Carter came up short on a shot off glass with 43 seconds left, leading to a timeout by Green Bay with 34 seconds remaining in the extra session. Out of the timeout, Green Bay's Daniel Turner turned the ball over, opening the opportunity for Kreps' game-winning shot. Kreps' buzzer beater marked his second game-winner of the season, and the fourth of his career.

UIC will continue its homestand Saturday, when the Flames host Milwaukee in the front end of a men's-women's doubleheader at the UIC Pavilion beginning at 3 p.m. CST. The Panthers defeated Loyola Thursday night, 66-57.