Men's Basketball Visits Wright State Saturday Night

Feb. 4, 2011

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» The Flames will be looking to secure their second Horizon League win, after picking up their first conference victory (83-61) last Saturday over Youngstown State. UIC dropped a 77-63 decision at Detroit Thursday night.

» Senior guard Robo Kreps scored a game-high 25 points against the Titans, moving into a tie for ninth on UIC's all-time scoring list (1,458 career points). He is just 42 points away from becoming only the ninth player in program history to score 1,500 or more career points.

» Junior center Darrin Williams chipped in 10 points, including a 6-for-6 effort from the free throw line at Detroit. It marked his first double-digit scoring output since scoring 13 points at Youngstown State on Dec. 30.

» UIC is the top-ranked offensive rebounding team in the Horizon League, averaging nearly 14 offensive boards (13.5) per game. The Flames also lead the league in rebounding margin (+5.5) during conference play.

» Senior forward Paul Carter tallied his fifth double-double of the season to lead three players in double figures, but UIC dropped 71-63 decision versus Wright State in a Horizon League game at the UIC Pavilion on Jan. 6. Wright State placed four players in double figures, led by preseason All-Horizon League pick Vaughn Duggins' 22 points.

UIC will continue its three-game road trip on Monday (Feb. 7), when the Flames travel to Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to take on 2010 national finalist Butler.

The Flames and Bulldogs will be facing off for the first time this season. Butler (14-9, 6-5 Horizon) is coming off a 62-60 loss at Youngstown State Thursday night.

UIC: Howard Moore is in his first season as a college head coach. Moore, 37, comes to UIC after spending the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at Wisconsin, his alma mater, under head coach Bo Ryan.

Moore joined the Badgers staff in 2005 and helped lead them to the NCAA Tournament in each of his five seasons in Madison. The team advanced past the first round of the Big Dance in each of the last four seasons and produced a memorable Sweet 16 run in 2008.

With Moore on the bench, Wisconsin posted three of the top-five winningest seasons in school history, including an historic 2007-08 campaign that saw the Badgers win a school-record 31 games en route to Big Ten regular season and tournament championships.

Under Ryan's tutelage Moore established himself as one of the top recruiters in the Big Ten by utilizing the Chicagoland area as a main pipeline for talent.

Wright State: Billy Donlon, a native of Northbrook, Ill., is in his first season as the head coach at Wright State. He spent the last four years on Brad Brownell's (now the head coach at Clemson) staff at Wright State. Before coming to WSU in the spring of 2006, he was an assistant for Brownell at UNC Wilmington for four seasons.

Donlon began his coaching career as an assistant at American in 1999-00 and then moved on to St. Peter's for one season in 2000-01.

UIC is 6-17 (1-10 Horizon) on the season, including a 1-10 record in true road games. The Flames are coming off an a 77-63 loss at Detroit Thursday night.

Senior guard Robo Kreps is leading the Flames offensively, scoring 15.3 points per game -- he has also dished out a team-high 70 assists. Minnesota transfer, senior forward Paul Carter is averaging 13.9 points per game, while also leading the Flames in rebounding with 8.2 caroms per contest, second-best in the Horizon League. Kreps currently ranks sixth in the conference in scoring, while Carter is 12th.

In Horizon League play, Kreps (13.7; 10th) and Carter (13.4; 13th) both rank in the top-15 in the conference in scoring, while Carter is second in rebounding, at 8.5 caroms per game. He is averaging 6.0 defensive rebounds per contest in UIC's 11 Horizon League games.

UIC is averaging 63.0 points per game, and allowing its opponents to score 68.8 points per contest. In Horizon League play, UIC leads the conference in both offensive rebounds (13.5 rpg) and rebounding margin (+5.5).

Wright State, which enters Saturday's game in sole possession of third-place in the Horizon League, is 15-9 (8-4 Horizon) on the season, with a 10-1 record at home.

Senior guard Vaughn Duggins, a preseason All-Horizon League Second Team honoree, leads the Raiders offensively, scoring 16.2 points per game. N'Gai Evans (14.0) is averaging double figures in scoring, along with Troy Tabler (11.6), who hasn't played since Jan. 22 against Cleveland State.

In conference play, the Raiders currently lead the Horizon League in scoring defense (60.8 ppg), free throw percentage (.748), three-point field goal defense (.261) and turnover margin (+3.3). Wright State ranks tenth in the league in offensive rebounds (8.0 rpg), defensive rebounds (18.7 rpg), assists per game (10.3) and blocks (1.2 bpg).

Duggins' 16.8 points per game during Horizon League play ranks second overall, while Evans is playing 36.4 minutes per game, second to only UIC's Robo Kreps.

Senior forward Paul Carter tallied his fifth double-double of the season, but the UIC men's basketball team dropped a 71-63 decision versus Wright State in a Horizon League game at the UIC Pavilion on Jan. 6.

Carter scored a team-high 13 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds for his second-straight double-double. Senior guard Dipanjot Singh added 13 points, while senior forward Brad Birton tallied his third double-digit scoring output during Horizon League play, contributing 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

Wright State placed four players in double figures, led by preseason All-Horizon League pick Vaughn Duggins' 22 points - he was joined in double figures by seniors N'Gai Evans (21), Troy Tabler (10) and Cooper Land (10).

The Flames recorded a decisive 35-25 advantage on the boards, but Wright State scored 14 points off turnovers, and overcame a four-point second half deficit.

The Flames opened the second half on a 9-3 run, grabbing a 44-40 lead with 16:06 remaining. The Raiders answered with a 7-3 spree, and re-claimed the lead (47-46) with 12:58 left. Evans and Duggins then added back-to-back field goals, pushing WSU's lead back to six, 52-46, with just over 11 minutes remaining.

Senior center K.C. Robbins scored just before the under eight timeout (8:01) to pull UIC back within two (54-52), and Singh hit both free throws with 6:03 remaining to make the score 56-54 in favor of the Raiders. But the Flames could draw no closer. Wright State out-scored UIC 12-7 over the final 5:47, going 6-for-6 from the free throw line down the stretch.

UIC leads the all-time series against Wright State, 21-20. The Raiders swept the regular season series last year, including a 79-43 win at the Nutter Center (1/28/10).

The series began in the 1991-92 campaign, with UIC claiming a 92-69 win. Dating back to the 2006-07 season, Wright State has won eight-of the last nine meetings, including four-straight in Dayton -- UIC's last road win over the Raiders was on Jan. 25, 2006.

After Monday night's upcoming game at Butler (the first meeting between the two squads this season), the Flames will spend the majority of the Horizon League stretch run inside the confines of the UIC Pavilion. UIC will host Green Bay (2/10/11), Milwaukee (2/12/11), Loyola (2/16/11) and Butler (2/19/11) in succession, before wrapping up the Horizon League regular season at Valparaiso on Feb. 26.

Seniors Robo Kreps (25 points) and Paul Carter (10) both scored in double figures, securing their respective 18th and 20th double-digit scoring outputs ... Junior center Darrin Williams also added 10 points, his fourth double-figure scoring effort of the season ... There were a combined 14 ties and lead changes in the game ... The score was tied at halftime, 35-35 ... UIC shot 60.9 percent (14-23) from the field in the opening stanza, but just 31.4 percent in the second half ... The Flames led by as many as six points in the first half, and trailed by only one possession (48-45) with 10:49 remaining in the second stanza ... Detroit shot 52.5 percent from the field for the game ... The rebounding totals were even (32-32), but Detroit out-scored the Flames in the paint, 42-28 ... The Flames committed 20 turnovers, leading to 19 points for Detroit ... Along with the 14-point advantage in the paint, the Titans also out-scored UIC 19-14 off turnovers, 18-4 through the fast break and 22-10 through their bench ... Both teams scored 10 second-chance points.

Senior forward Brad Birton strung together the best two games of his career during UIC's homestand last week. He recorded his first-two double-doubles of the season against Cleveland State and Youngstown State, twice equaling his career-high in both points and rebounds. Birton was the Flames' leading scorer and rebounder in both contests. In conference play, Birton has posted all six of his double-digit scoring outputs, and four-of his top-seven rebounding efforts. Overall, Birton is averaging 8.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game on a 52.9 percent effort from the field in Horizon League action.

When scanning the box score and play-by-play from UIC's convincing 83-61 win over Youngstown State last Saturday, one main thing sticks out: the production from the Flames' seniors. The five seniors that play a primary role in UIC's rotation (Paul Carter, Brad Birton, Robo Kreps, Dipanjot Singh and K.C. Robbins) combined to score 59 points, and pull down 37 rebounds.

Senior forward Paul Carter leads the Flames with nine double-doubles on the season, including six in Horizon League play ... Carter has tallied double dips against the College of Charleston (11/20/10), Toledo (11/28/10), Illinois State (12/11/10), Cleveland State (1/1/11), Wright State (1/6/11), Detroit (1/8/11), Green Bay (1/15/11), Loyola (1/22/11) and Youngstown State (1/29/11).

Senior guard Robo Kreps moved into a tie for ninth-place on the all-time scoring list at UIC on Thursday, scoring a game-high 25 points against Detroit. He enters Thursday's game with 1,458 career points, just 42 tallies short of becoming the ninth player in program history to score 1,500 or more points.

UIC enters Saturday's contest as the Horizon League's top offensive rebounding team (in conference games), averaging 13.5 offensive boards per game. It has been a collective effort on the glass, with Brad Birton (3.0 rpg; t-3rd), Paul Carter (2.5 rpg; 6th) and Paris Carter (2.0 rpg; t-8th) all ranking in the top-10 of the league in offensive rebounds during Horizon League play.

As mentioned, UIC has out-rebounded 15-of its 22 opponents this season, including 10-of the last 12, and nine-of-11 Horizon League foes.

Senior forward Paul Carter has been the overwhelming catalyst for the Flames' success on the boards this season. The Horizon League's second-leading rebounder (8.2 rpg), Carter has led the Flames in rebounding 13 times, and also grabbed nine or more caroms on 12 occasions.

UIC's improved defensive effort has had a direct result on its won-loss fate as the Flames transition into Horizon League play. The magic defensive number could very well be 70: When the Flames allow their opponent to score 70 or more points, they are 0-11 on the season.