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    Feb. 26, 2011

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    VALPARAISO, Ind. - Seniors Robo Kreps and Paul Carter each scored a game-high 21 points, but host Valparaiso out-scored the Flames 28-15 over the final 10:45, pulling away in a 79-65 win over the UIC men's basketball team in the Horizon League finale for both teams at the Athletics-Recreation Center Saturday night.

    With the loss, UIC officially secured the 10th seed in next week's Horizon League Tournament. The Flames will travel to the Wolstein Center in Cleveland to take on Cleveland State Tuesday. Valpo locked in the No. 4 seed, and will host Youngstown State in the opening round.

    Valpo came out of the gate firing, jumping out to a 14-2 lead, and forcing UIC into an early timeout, at the 15:31 mark - Johnson had two field goals in the stretch for Valpo. The Flames charged back with a 17-8 run, and pulled within 22-19 with 7:11 remaining. The Crusaders quickly answered, going back up by double digits (30-20) with 4:14 remaining after a jumper by Jay Harris.

    Valpo's lead reached a game-high 15 points (39-24) with 49 seconds remaining in the first half, before Paul Carter drilled two free throws for UIC with 31 seconds left, making the score 39-26 heading into the locker room at halftime. The Crusaders recorded a convincing 28-10 scoring advantage in the paint during the opening 20 minutes.

    UIC was the aggressor in the beginning stages of the second half, going on a convincing 12-4 run to pull within 43-38 at the first media timeout (15:46) -- Paul Carter and Kreps combined for three treys in the spurt. The Crusaders extended their lead back to eight points, 49-41, before the Flames came right back with a 7-0 run, pulling within 49-48 at the 11:27 mark.

    On UIC's ensuing possession, Paris Carter caught the ball in the post, went up-and-under, and was fouled by Broekhoff. He missed the free throw, however, keeping the margin a one-point (51-50) lead for Valparaiso. The Crusaders then rolled off six-straight points, pulling ahead 57-50 with 8:11 remaining. The Flames pulled back within 59-55 at the 5:30 mark after Paul Carter's third three-pointer.

    Valpo scored the next six points and claimed a 65-55 advantage with 4:36 left. After Kreps' fifth and final three of the game, UIC pulled within 67-61 with 2:57 remaining. The Flames would draw no closer, falling behind by as many as 14 points down the stretch - Valpo converted eight free throws in the final 2:26.

    UIC will take on third-seeded Cleveland State at the Wolstein Center next Tuesday (March 1) at 7 p.m., in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament.