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Blazers drops second straight, fall to UNT, 76-65
The Blazers fell to 1-3 in C-USA play after falling to North Texas 76-65.
This was just the second time the two programs have met on the basketball court with the first being an easy win for the Blazers in Bartow in 1997.
Shooting the ball was a problem for the Blazers as they shot a staggering 18% in the second half and only 30% for the game. The Green and Gold shot 26% from the 3-point line in the contest. They also missed on 13 of 28 free throws tallying just 58% from the charity stripe. Shooting efficiently was a problem no matter where they were on the floor.
Junior guard, Chad Frazier, once again played well, despite shooting a low percent he still put up 20 points on 7-21 shooting.
CJ Washington, who was held to limited action against UTEP, was once again forced to sit early due to foul trouble. The 6’8 junior never found his shot as he went 0-5 from the field.
Tosin Mehinti and Robert Williams were the only Blazers to shoot over 50% for the game, shooting 2-3 and 5-9 respectively.
About the only thing the Blazers did well was rebound. After rebounding struggles the past two games, the Green and Gold attacked the glass hard in Denton pulling down 53 boards. They out rebounded the Mean Green by 14.
Rod Rucker led the Blazers in that regard, totaling 11 rebounds in his 38 minutes of action. Offensively the senior was not as solid, scoring 7 points on 2-16 shooting.
After a game with 7 turnovers, Frazier only gave the ball away 3 times. That kind of number is to be expected by a guard who has the ball in his hands for most of the game and his aggressive style of play is a focal point of the Blazers offense. The team as a whole turned the ball over just 10 times which is better than the season average.
UAB needs to turn things around quickly if they hope to reach the NCAA tournament without winning the C-USA tournament, or if they plan on finishing near the top of the conference. UAB is currently 13th in the conference.
The Blazer now head to Tulsa to take on the Golden Hurricanes. Tulsa is currently third in C-USA with the lone conference loss coming in overtime in Charlotte. The Blazers will need to find their range and find a way to score points. Tulsa is averaging 77 points per contest in conference action, which is five points per game more than UAB.
The Blazers return to action in the Donald Reynolds Center in Tulsa on Saturday at 3:05 pm central time.
MVP: Chad Frazier.
Although not shooting a great percentage, his dribble penetration was the only thing working for the Blazer offense against the Mean Green. He scored 20 points on 7-21 shooting while connecting on 3-10 from range. However, the junior point guard did have more turnovers than assist, with 3 TO and 2 assists.
X-Factor: 4 minutes.
There was a four minute stretch that ultimately decided the outcome of the game. With a little under eight minutes left to go in game, Robert Williams nailed a three-pointer to cut the six point deficit to three. From that point forward, the Blazers did not hit a field goal for four minutes. That allowed UNT to open up 10 point lead, 70-60. That was when Robert Williams hit a layup with 3:25 remain to cut the lead to eight but it was too little too late as the Blazers fell 76-65.
Glaring stat of the night: 18.4%.
That was the Blazers shooting percentage in the second half. The Blazers shot poorly all game. Rod Rucker went 0-8 in the second half. Poor shooting became contagious. The Blazers shot 2-10 from downtown and hit 7-38 from the field. It is hard to win a game shooting that poorly no matter how well you rebound.