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Blazers dropping the ball
While the Blazers got off to a quick start Saturday evening, their lead was short lived and soon turned into yet another disappointing loss. USM overcame the Blazers 74-59 at Reed Green Coliseum in front of 5,863 fans.
The Blazers finally broke out of their three-point slump when Terrance Jones knocked down three three-point shots as the Blazers moved the ball effortlessly for the first half of the first half. But apparently something happened to stir the Golden Eagles during a media time-out with just over seven minutes to go. They left the Green and Gold dazed and confused. Southern Miss managed to rally their troops and score an impressive 27 points in under six minutes to take the lead and end the half 38-27.
The Golden Eagles opened the second half with the same intensity that ended the first half and extended their double digit lead. USM totally shut down the Blazers offense, holding the Blazers to 40.8 percent shooting from the field. The Golden Eagles were also able to isolate Rod Rucker and hold him to just four points total on the night, while Fahro Alihodzic managed to squeeze out eight points.
Jones along with Robert Williams were the only Blazers to record double digits Saturday night at 15 and 12 points, respectively. USM had twice as many players score more than ten points.
Southern Miss improves their record to 15-4, 4-0 (Conference USA) while the Blazers fall to 8-10 on the season, 0-3 (Conference USA). UAB has only won one away game this season.
The Blazers continue to struggle when it comes to quickly adapting to different environments as well as the playing styles of their opponents. The Blazers are failing to execute when given open looks and they just haven’t been shooting well at all. So when there is a game like Saturday night and the ball is turned over 20 times, it’s very difficult to control the pace, momentum of the game, and attitude of the team.
Jordan Swing has disappeared offensively for the Blazers the past couple of weeks and has only scored seven points a game during the past four game skid he is shooting just over 25 percent from the field while going 1-17 beyond the arc. UAB’s offense tends to go with Jordan Swing, if UAB has any hope of turning things around they will need the Vestavia native to step things back up a notch.
Going forward, UAB will need to figure out why things are falling apart on the road and fix it quickly. The good thing is, there is still a lot of basketball left to play and the Blazers do have time to turn this season around and make head Coach Jerod Haase’s first season a winning one.
The Blazers return home to Bartow Arena this week and are set to play ECU Wednesday night at 7PM.
Senior Staff Writer