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Very few highlights in another Flames loss

KREPS PASSES 1,000 POINTS; UIC 0-13 ON ROAD

February 14, 2010

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Robo Kreps became the 20th Flame to join the 1,000-point club.

UIC junior guard Robo Kreps surpassed the 1,000 career points mark, but there weren’t many other highlights for the Flames at the Gentile Center on Saturday night.

Geoff McCammon equaled a career-high with 26 points as Loyola finished off a regular-season sweep of UIC with an 80-63 victory, dropping the Flames to 0-13 on the road this season.

Kreps became the 20th Flames player to reach the 1,000-point milestone when he hit a pair of free throws late in the first half. However, he didn’t hit much else, finishing with eight points on 2-for-12 shooting from the field.

K.C. Robbins had 13 points and eight rebounds and Zavion Neely contributed 13 points and three steals to lead UIC (6-19, 2-13), which has dropped 11 of its last 12 contests. Chris Buchanan added 10 points, Spencer Stewart pitched in with eight points and seven assists and Jeremy Buttell supplied eight points and seven rebounds.

The Ramblers (14-11, 5-10) had plenty of contributors. McCammon, who also had 26 points in Loyola’s 55-50 win at UIC on Jan. 15, was 9-for-13 from the field and 4-for-6 from three-point range.

Terrance Hill scored 15 points despite 5-for-17 shooting. Walt Gibler tossed in 11 points and point guard Courtney Stanley added 10 points and eight assists for Loyola.

Hill provided a needed boost on the defensive end, shadowing Kreps.

“Last time at their house, he had 20 points,” Hill said. “He made it real tough on me all night coming off screens. Coach [Jim] Whitesell and I put an emphasis on me just trailing and never trying to shoot the gap. If I try to shoot the gap, he could get open shots.”

UIC bolted out to a 12-8 lead, thanks to Neely’s early 10-point burst, which included two three-point baskets.

The Ramblers countered with a 10-0 run, which was spurred by Hill’s three-pointer and seven points from McCammon.

Loyola led by as many as seven points in the opening half, but the Flames kept the game close thanks to 48 percent shooting in the first period.

Freshman Anthony Kelley hit a three-pointer with 7 seconds left in the half to close UIC’s deficit to 35-33 at intermission.

The Flames closed to within 42-41 on Spencer Stewart’s three-pointer with 17:03 remaining, but Hill answered with another three to kick-start a 16-5 spurt that helped Loyola open up a 58-46 advantage.

UIC trailed by double figures for pretty much the rest of the night. The Flames shot just 33 percent in the second half while allowing the Ramblers to hit a 52 percent clip.

“Several times we had mental lapses on defense,” UIC coach Jimmy Collins said during his postgame radio interview. “Defensively we had breakdowns and offensively we didn’t shoot the ball.”

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Kris Harris won’t be returning to the Flames.

HARRIS LEAVES: Senior guard Kris Harris has left the team after dealing with some personal matters in recent weeks. He hasn’t been on the bench since prior to the Flames’ game against Butler on Jan. 23.

Harris averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in his two-year UIC career. He had a career-high of 15 points in the Flames’ 57-52 loss at Milwaukee on Dec. 3.

FLAMES FLICKERS: Robbins battled a severe flu bug on Friday, which caused him to miss practice. … Junior forward Brad Birton missed his fourth straight game with an injured left shoulder. … Buttell was honored by the Horizon League as the conference’s scholar-athlete of the month for January. He carries a 4.0 GPA as a graduate student. … Kreps now has 1,002 points for his career. … UIC was outrebounded 39-30 for the game after holding a 17-13 edge at halftime. … Loyola freshman Ben Averkamp recorded four blocked shots. … The Flames’ 13th conference loss set a new school mark for most in a season.

In other recent news:
Road win evades Flames again (at Valpo) (2/9/10)
Flames exhale, snap 9-game skid (vs. Youngstown St.) (2/7/10)
Shakeup can’t end Flames’ slide (vs. Cleveland St.) (2/5/10)
Close, but no cigar for Flames (at Detroit) (1/31/10)
Deep funk continues (at Wright St.) (1/29/10)
Hayward's star continues to rise (vs. Butler) (1/23/10)
Robbins emerges, but Crusaders too tough (vs. Valpo) (1/22/10)
McCammon puts daggers in Flames (vs. Loyola, plus roster news) (1/15/10)