Men's Basketball Falls To Bradley In Season Opener, 67-61
Nov. 14, 2008
Peoria, Ill.- A career-high offensive output for Robo Kreps and Scott VanderMeer's double-double were not enough as the UIC men's basketball team suffered a 67-61 road defeat at the hands of Bradley in the season opener for both teams at Carver Arena on Friday night.
Kreps led all scorers with 24 points, hitting five of his nine three-point attempts for the Flames (0-1).
VanderMeer scored 15 and pulled down 11 rebounds for his ninth career double-dip effort.
Theron Wilson had a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds for Bradley (1-0), while Dodie Dunson led the Braves with 21 points.
Both teams had difficulty finding the cup in the first half. UIC shot 30 percent (9-for-30) from the floor in the opening stanza, while Bradley connected on just three of its 17 field goal attempts in the first 20 minutes for an abysmal 17.6 percent clip.
The Flames would go up by as many as 12 in the first half, using an 18-6 run spurred by nine points off the hot hand of Kreps. That allowed UIC to take an eight-point lead into intermission.
Bradley would respond in the second session, outscoring UIC 19-8 in the first nine minutes of the final half to take a three-point lead. Following Kreps' game-tying trey shortly after the Braves' run, Bradley utilized an 8-1 run to take a double-digit lead with just six and a half minutes left.
UIC would not go away quietly, as a pair of Josh Mayo buckets sandwiched scores by Kreps and Tori Boyd during a quick 8-0 burst that took only 1:28 off the game clock and cut the Flames' deficit down to two. But the Braves scored nine unanswered points right after that UIC charge to build their lead to 11 with a minute left in regulation.
Kreps, who was back at the site of his Maroa-Forsyth High School squad's memorable 2007 IHSA Class A title run for the first time, was determined to not go down without a fight. The sophomore guard scored eight points in the final 60 seconds to go along with a Zavion Neely three-pointer and bring UIC within four, but that's as close as the Flames would get.
UIC was plagued by foul trouble early, as starters Boyd and Spencer Stewart picked up two quick calls apiece and eventually fouled out. Newcomer Rob Eppinger's Division I debut was also hindered by two quick fouls.
Jeremy Buttell came off the bench to play 22 solid minutes, pulling down eight rebounds.
Mayo played all 40 minutes of Friday's game.
UIC hosts UNI in the Flames' 2008-09 home opener at the revamped UIC Pavilion on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.