Blazers sink Navy
Posted on Nov 20, 2012 in Sports
Jerod Haase’s squad marched into Bartow Sunday afternoon, bouncing back from a mid-week loss to No. 15 Creighton, in a game where the Blazers gave up a ten point lead with a little over nine minutes left.
Sunday, however, the Blazers jumped out from the beginning and never trailed coasting by the young Midshipmen of Navy
UAB lead the game from start to finish, owning a 20 point halftime lead, slipping to let Navy back in ever so slightly. “Our effort today was not what we have to have (to be successful),” Haase said after the game. “Effort cannot have ebb and flow to it. We had that today and it has to change.”
The Blazers proved too much for the Midshipmen, defeating them 82-63 in a game where all 11 players who dress for the Green and Gold scored. The lone Blazer who didn’t score was sophomore guard K.C. Whitaker who sat out due to a foot injury.
UAB shot 50 percent on the night, allowing them to rebound from the 38.1 scoring percentage they shot on the road against Creighton. However, Sunday did mark the first time this season that the Blazers struggled from beyond the arc, averaging 46.3 percent from deep. The Blazers only connected on 27.8 percent on the day from three-point range.
Led by forward Rod Rucker, the Birmingham team attacked the glass, out rebounding the Midshipman by 20. “I thought our size inside and our ability to rebound the basketball played a big part in the game,” head coach Jerod Haase said. “But overall, our execution wasn’t what I wanted.”
Rucker led the team in rebounds with 13 and tied for a team high 16 points with Fahro Alihodzic. The 6-5 junior college transfer is averaging a double-double, with 10 rebounds and 12 points a game. Preston Purifoy and Jordan Swing each notched 12 points, both having effective scoring nights.
Haase’s first year team is proving to be a selfless one, offering 21.7 assists per game. Also, they appear to be focused on defense. Sunday saw a UAB team that forced Navy into 19 turnovers.
The game was the opening of a the San Padre Island Invitational. it was the first of four that UAB will play, and the first of two played in Bartow. The second is slated for Tuesday against
Prairie View A&M, before they head to Texas for contests on Friday and Saturday.
Friday’s contest will mark the first of five straight road games highlighted by the North Carolina game on December 1 where Jerod Haase will take on his mentor and former coach Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels.
The new look Blazers’ fast paced style of play will return to Bartow Arena on December 8, 2012 to take on the South Alabama Jaguars (2-0), a team that stunned then ranked Florida State early in their season opener.