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Men’s basketball cruises through exhibition, downs North Alabama with 98-81 victory
Saturday afternoon marked the start of the new Blazer Basketball season, a fan favorite ever since Gene Bartow drove UAB to the top many years ago.
The team, as well as the fans, had something new to look forward to this weekend as the new head coach, Jerod Haase, took the scene as he showed off his new fast paced style of play the fans missed during the Mike Davis era.
Haase proved his skills as the Blazers took away their first win from North Alabama by a double digit victory– 98-81. “I was a little disappointed that we had 22 turnovers on the night,” Haase said. “That is something we are going to talk about all year, that we should have more assists than turnovers. We have a lot of guys that can play a lot of positions, which means they can handle the basketball. It will be important that we utilize those matchups when we play bigger teams, so we can use our quickness as an advantage.”
The months of preparation and practice with Hasse came down to the first tip-off. The offense got off to a hot start and never seemed to cool off. The Green and Gold shot 52.5% for the game as well as 40% from behind the three point line.
Most of the points were placed on Terence Jones, the senior transfer, as he sunk four out of eight beyond the arc as well as 8 out of 13 from inside for a total of 20.
Following Jones was another new face to the Blazer program Rod Rucker, number 42, who brought 19 points to the score board and finished just one rebound shy of a double double. Robert Williams and Jordan Swing both tallied 14 points each for UAB.
By the halftime buzzer, the Blazers had a sixteen point advantage: UAB 48 North Alabama 32.
UAB’s offense jumped into action during the second half in order to defeat the Lions.
The win may not have counted as far as wins and losses go for the season, but it seems as though the Blazers have their efforts set for attaining the gold.
For a fan and UAB student Freshman Jacob Maynard, hopes are high after viewing his first Blazer Basketball match but he still thinks that the team needs a bit of practice in some aspects. Maynard said, “They definitely need work, especially on defense, but they could end up turning some heads.” Jacob has waited all semester for the ball to hit the court, and now that the start-off exhibition match has taken place, he can only hope that the team will surprise him with an extraordinary season this year.
This kickoff game against North Alabama is not to be taken lightly, as it is a proving ground for what the Blazers can do this season. However, since this is the very first time the Blazers have set foot on the court this season, anything could happen in between now and the season’s end.
The next game is against Young Harris College on November 10 at 8 pm, which happens to be the first regular season home game in what will hopefully be a promising Blazer season.
Senior Staff Writer