Flames Defeat UIS in Exhibition Action, 80-53

Brad Birton
Brad Birton
Nov. 3, 2010

UIC 80, UIS 53 (Final Stats) Get Acrobat Reader

CHICAGO - Senior guard Robo Kreps scored a team-high 14 points to lead four Flames scoring double figures, as the UIC men's basketball team recorded a wire-to-wire 80-53 win over Illinois-Springfield in the team's lone exhibition game at the UIC Pavilion Wednesday night.

Brad Birton scored 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while Paul Carter scored 10 points with eight caroms in his UIC debut. Junior guard Zavion Neely added 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting. The Flames out-rebounded the Prairie Stars 49-36, and shot 47.1 percent from the field, including a 55.3 percent effort in the second half. The Flames held a decisive 42-18 advantage in the paint.

"The guys played hard tonight, and I was pleased with the effort," said first-year UIC head coach Howard Moore. "We made some runs, and we touched the post, which led to some good things on the offensive end. I kept telling the guys during timeouts not to pay attention to the score. We focused on playing our brand of basketball, and focusing on each individual possession.

"We overcame some turnovers, and when the guys settled down, we saw some good things out of our offense. I thought Brad Birton really played well tonight, especially defensively. He does all the things that coaches love - he's got some toughness, he helps on defense and he's vocal out on the floor. If we can get everyone to bring that mentality on defense, I think we'll be in great shape."

The Flames raced out to a 15-6 lead less than seven minutes into the game, before UIS charged back to pull within three, 19-16, at the 6:00 mark. UIC ended the opening frame on a 9-2 run, and claimed a 28-18 lead heading into the locker room at halftime. Birton's eight points on 3-of-5 shooting paced the Flames' scoring attack in the opening 20 minutes.

UIC's lead reached 20 points (38-18) just 2:26 into the second half, after two field goals by junior Darrin Williams, and a three-pointer by junior Matt Bush. The lead was stretched to 55-26 with 12:52 remaining, after a 15-5 run bolstered by a pair of field goals from Kreps, along with tallies by Neely, junior guard Daniel Barnes, Birton and Carter.

The Flames' advantage fluctuated from 22-28 points in the ensuing six and a half minutes, before another 12-6 spurt gave UIC its biggest lead, 78-48, with 2:04 remaining. UIC out-scored UIS in the second half, 52-35, and held the Prairie Stars to a 31.6 percent shooting effort for the game.

Along with its 42-18 advantage on points in the paint, the Flames also out-scored the Prairie Stars 19-10 off turnovers, 19-7 on second chance points, and 31-20 through their bench.

UIC will open the 2010-11 regular season next Wednesday (Nov. 10) at No. 5 Pittsburgh in the opening round of the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Coaches versus Cancer. Tip-off from the Petersen Events Center is set for 6 p.m. CST.