Flames Fall to Green Bay; Head to Milwaukee for Horizon League First-Round|
Feb. 25, 2012
Hayden Humes recorded his 12th double-digit scoring output of the season, and senior Paris Carter chipped in 10 points in his final home game, but Green Bay's Keifer Sykes poured in a game-high 27 points, leading to a 71-63 win over the UIC men's basketball team in the regular season Horizon League finale for both teams at the UIC Pavilion Saturday afternoon.
With the loss, UIC finished the regular season with an 8-21 record, including a 3-15 mark in Horizon League play. Green Bay pulled above .500 (15-14), and finished the League's regular season with a 10-8 record.
The Flames will occupy the No. 9 seed in next week's Horizon League Tournament, and open its postseason run at fourth-seeded Milwaukee on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Green Bay secured the No. 7 seed, and will travel to sixth-seeded Youngstown State.
Humes scored a team-high 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a 3-for-4 effort from three-point range - he also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. Carter's 10 points came on a 4-of-7 effort from the field. Sykes, who attended Marshall High School in the Windy City, converted 11 field goals to lead three Green Bay players in double figures.
"We've been through a lot of battles this season, and I was hoping that we would step up to the challenge and end the regular season on a high note for our seniors," said head coach Howard Moore. "We obviously came up short. We didn't get the stops when we needed to; they scored 40 points in the second half -- that's very difficult to overcome.
"There is still one more game that we are guaranteed to play. We've got to pick ourselves up, and get ready to play on Tuesday. Anything can happen in the tournament, and that's the mentality that we're going to have."
Green Bay jumped out to an 11-5 lead, after UIC converted just two-of-its first eight field goals. The Flames answered with a 12-5 run, opening up a 19-16 lead with 5:22 remaining in the first half - Carter, freshman point guard Sammy Sutter, senior guard Matt Bush, Humes and senior center Darrin Williams all had field goals in the stretch.
The Phoenix responded with seven-straight points on field goals by Greg Mays, Sykes and Aaron Armstead, to claim a 23-19 advantage with 2:47 left in the stanza. Junior guard Daniel Barnes and Carter scored on consecutive possessions in the final minute, as UIC entered the locker room at halftime trailing 31-27.
UIC scored the first four points of the second half, tying the game at 31-31 with 19:16 remaining. But Alec Brown and Sykes combined to score the next four points, giving the Phoenix a 35-31 lead. Green Bay stretched its lead to a game-high 11 points (46-35) with 12:42 remaining after Mays' second dunk. UIC then stormed back, pulling just one (48-47) with 8:27 remaining after a dunk by Carter - he was also fouled on the play, and converted the ensuing free throw.
Green Bay answered again, stretching its lead to five points (52-47) with 7:30 remaining after a driving field goal by Sykes. The Flames pulled within one possession three times in the ensuing 6:20, but the Phoenix answered each time, holding off any late rally or comeback hopes for the Flames.
Green Bay out-scored the Flames 30-20 in the paint, and recorded a decisive 42-33 rebounding advantage. UIC was limited to just 36.7 percent shooting.
Due to a scheduling conflict at U.S. Cellular Arena, the Flames will take on Milwaukee at the Klotsche Center next Tuesday (Feb. 28) beginning at 7 p.m. CST. UIC will be facing Milwaukee in the Horizon League Tournament for the sixth time - the Flames are 3-2 versus the Panthers in postseason games.