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Flames extinguished in Green Bay

LOSING STREAK REACHES 5

December 7, 2009

Whoosh! photo

Sophomore Zavion Neely scored 15 points to lead UIC.

It didn’t take the Green Bay Phoenix long to turn Titletown into Blowout City on Saturday night.

After Zavion Neely scored the first basket of the game for UIC, things turned sour quickly as the host Green Bay doused the Flames 85-59 at the Resch Center.

Rahmon Fletcher scored 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting as the Phoenix (8-2, 2-0 Horizon) shot a blistering 55.6 percent. Fellow guards Bryquis Perine, who had 16 points and a career-high eight assists, and Troy Cotton added 12 points, rounded out Green Bay’s triple-threat.

Green Bay went on a 10-0 spurt which included two dunks early in the first half to open a 19-6 lead and the Flames never got back to within single digits.

The Phoenix finished the first half by shooting 63.3 percent for a 41-21 halftime advantage.

“We started off with no juice,” UIC coach Jimmy Collins said. “Green Bay shot it extremely well. We didn’t close out on the shooters. Our biggest problem was the lack of intensity on defense.”

The second half wasn’t much better. The Phoenix went on a 15-6 run to open a 56-27 lead before the Flames showed a little life with a 17-4 spurt, but the game was already decided by then.

Green Bay forced 19 turnovers and converted those into 22 points.

“We had really good enthusiasm,” Green Bay coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “We had excellent ball pressure, creating offense for us.”

Neely led the Flames (1-5, 0-2) with 15 points. K.C. Robbins contributed 10 points and nine rebounds and Jeremy Buttell added 10 points for UIC, which lost its fifth straight and shot just 36 percent from the field.

Senior point guard Spencer Stewart made his return from a five-game suspension and finished with four of UIC’s six assists in 12 minutes off the bench. He also looked a little rusty in committing four turnovers, including a three in a three-minute span in the first half.

Robo Kreps had his second straight rough game, scoring a season-low five points on 1-for-12 from the field.

“I think he’s putting too much pressure on himself,” Collins said. “He needs to relax.”

FLAMES FLICKERS:UIC lost its sixth straight at the Resch Center and fell to 2-10 in the last 12 meetings against Green Bay. The Flames’ last win in Green Bay was a 63-55 victory on Feb. 18, 2004 behind Cedrick Banks’ 18 points … The Flames played 14 players, including Arman Rasul, who made his UIC debut in the final minute. … Flames senior Chris Buchanan matched his career high with seven points. … Green Bay’s Randy Berry grabbed 12 rebounds without attempting a field goal.

UP NEXT:After a week off from game action, UIC travels to the Allstate Arena to take on local rival DePaul on Sunday at 5 p.m.

In other recent news:
Flames crying out for some stability (at Milwaukee) (12/4/09)
Salukis’ 2nd-half spurt douses Flames (at SIU) (11/29/09)
Flames’ comeback falls just short (vs. Illinois St., plus Stewart update) (11/24/09)
Bitter cold night in Mt. Pleasant (at C. Michigan) (11/19/09)
Neely seizes opportunity as Flames win opener (vs. UIS) (11/15/09)
It's not easy being green (Exhibition vs. Lewis) (11/11/09)
Flames tabbed ninth in preseason (plus HL/Whoosh! vote) (11/9/09)
Collins turns to Robbins in the post (plus departures, schedule) (10/6/09)