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Josh Crittle helps UIC advance to Horizon Tournament second round

Updated: March 6, 2013 9:56AM

UIC senior Josh Crittle had a career-high 20 points to lead five players in double figures in an 82-59 victory Tuesday over Cleveland State in the first round of the Horizon League tournament.

The victory at the UIC Pavilion moves the No. 5 seed Flames (17-14) to a second-round meeting Friday in Valparaiso against No. 4 seed Green Bay, which defeated No. 9 seed Milwaukee.

‘‘We’ve seen Green Bay not too long ago,’’ UIC coach Howard Moore said. ‘‘It’s going to be a battle of wills. But if our guys come out with today’s intensity, we’ll be a tough out in Valparaiso.’’

Daniel Barnes had 16 points for the Flames, Gary Talton scored 11 and Hayden Humes and Marc Brown each added 10.

‘‘I challenged our seniors that if they wanted to keep playing, keep practicing, they had to finish what they started,’’ Moore said.

‘‘We know as seniors our hourglass is done, but we put more sand in it,’’ Barnes said.

‘‘This time of year, it’s either win or go home,’’ Crittle said. ‘‘We’re not ready to stop playing.’’

The Vikings (14-18) were led by Charlie Lee’s 17 points. Bryn Forbes added 16.

The Flames led 44-30 at the half after the Vikings, who missed 18 of their first 20 shots, got on track when Lee hit four three-pointers.

‘‘We’ve shown that type of defensive intensity; that’s been our calling card,’’ Moore said of holding the Vikings to 32 percent shooting in the first half. ‘‘They knocked down shots the last time they were here, so the challenge was to establish our defense — and this is the best time of the year to do it.’’

The Vikings entered the game having won 12 in a row against the Flames.

The Flames have not advanced to the second round since the 2008-09 season. The victory gave the Flames their highest win total since the 2007-08 season, when they won 18.

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