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Men’s Basketball squeak past Charlotte, 64-62
After the victory against Marshall, the Jerod Haase and his Blazers continued their road trip head to take on Charlotte.
The Blazers came into Saturdays match-up tied with the 49ers for 8th place in C-USA with a record of 5-7.
The two squads came out swinging. The first half was marked by foul trouble by the Blazer bigs. Rucker and Washington both picked up two fouls in the first four minutes, with Rucker picking up a technical for a high elbow.
Despite the early struggles UAB’s defense helped them keep pace with Charlotte. The two teams battled and ended the half knotted at 38 apiece.
The second half was a defensive struggle. The Blazers went six minutes without a basket, however the tough defense kept the 49ers at bay, allowing them just 2 baskets during that span.
With four minutes left to go in the game only one point separated the two squads, 60-59 in favor of the Blazers. After a few free throws the Blazers extended the lead to 62-59. A three-point basket then dropped for the home team to tie the score at 62. With 20 seconds left, Junior Chad Frazier then drove the lane, and missed a lay-up. Fahro Alihodzic was there for the rebound. A tip shot ensued that gave the Blazers a 2 point lead with just 13 seconds left.
After a time out, Charlotte ran a set play interrupted by Chad Frazier who stole the ball and dribbled out the remaining three ticks to give UAB their second straight road victory, 64-62.
“It is obviously always great to get a win on the road in this league,” said head coach Jerod Haase. “That was one happy locker room after the game. None of our guys thought they performed extremely well individually, but they all know that we played great as a team. That is fun to see as a coach and is what makes this profession fun.”
Despite playing limited minutes due to foul trouble, Junior CJ Washington scored 14 points and grabbed 9 rebounds to help lead the Blazer to sole possession of 8th place. Chad Frazier scored 16 points grabbed 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals to round out his stat sheet.
The Blazers defense played well but the offense struggled. The Green and Gold had 11 turnovers, and shot 22-57 from the field and connecting on only 4 of 13 three-point attempts.
The Blazers shooting woes continued at the free throw line where the Blazer shot 16-32. The lack of production at the line almost cost the Blazers the game down the stretch as they four of their six attempts in the final stretch of the game.
UAB is now 17-10 with three more games remaining before the conference tournament. With games against Rice on the road, then finish the season with two home games against two of the top teams in C-USA.
They will head to Houston to take on Rice Thursday with action set to start at 7 pm ct.
MVP: CJ Washington.
Playing limited minutes the junior forward lifted the Blazer offensive hitting two three-pointer in the first half to help keep pace with the 49er offense. He shot 4-8 from the field including 2-4 from beyond the arc. He led the team with 9 rebounds and blocked a shot late in the game to aid the Blazers.
X-Factor: Blazer freshman.
Tosin Mehinti, Denzel Watts and Tyler Madison played valuable minutes in the first half that was marred with foul trouble by Rod Rucker, CJ Washington and Fahro Alihodzic. They played 47 minutes collectively and kept UAB in the game.
Glarring Stat of the Night: 16-32.
UAB missed 16 free throws shooting just 50% from the charity stripe. UAB has struggled lately from the line shooting 54% against the Marshall. The Blazers need to improve that stat if they want to continue working their way up the conference standings and compete against the top teams in C-USA.