Blazers postseason hopes busted in El Paso

By on March 16, 2014
Mehinti getting the rebound

Wednesday in El Paso the Blazer hopes of a post season appearance all but went away after a first round exit in the C-USA tournament.

With rematch against Charlotte, who UAB defeated on the road earlier this season, Blazers may have got caught looking to the next round.

The Green and Gold did go into the game a few players down, with leading scorer Chad Frazier came off the bench and played limited minutes. Second leading scorer CJ Washington with a shoulder injury suffered in the LA Tech game two weeks earlier. Third leading scorer and Senior Rod Rucker also had to miss his final game as a Blazer as he was out with and ‘undisclosed injury’.

“I thought Charlotte played a very good game offensively in the first half. They were remarkable from the 3-point line,” head coach Jerod Haase said. “They executed their game plan very well, and I congratulate them. We were very ineffective in a lot of ways. Having C.J. (Washington) and Rod Rucker out, obviously we didn’t have a full hand. We got in some foul trouble a bit, and that put us in some positions that were a little different.”

UAB was slow to get things started falling behind 17-7 in the opening six minutes.  It was a deficit the Blazers would never recover from.  Haase’s squad was on damage control for the rest of the half, keeping the margin to 13 when the opening stanza came to a close.

Coming out of the gates in the second frame, it appeared UAB was poised for a comeback.  The Green and Gold opened the half with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 46-40.  That would be as close as the Blazers would get as the 49er lead would blossom to 24.

Before the final buzzer the Blazers chipped the lead down to 10 with solid play by the Blazer bench.

The Blazers were outplayed in almost every category including shooting percentage, three point percentage, free throw shooting, assists, steals, and rebounds.  Charlotte out worked the Green and Gold and earned the first round victory.

UAB senior’s struggled in their final outing wearing the Green and Gold, going a combined 8-25 from the field and 2-10 beyond the arc.  The starters struggled just posting 29 of the Blazers 70 points.

The Blazers shot just 38% from the charity stripe.  Free throw shooting has been a problem for them on and off all season.

Overall it was a solid year for UAB. With some marquee program wins over North Carolina and Rutgers in front of home fans.  The Blazers had a solid non-conference season just could not get the offense working throughout the conference season.

The Blazers turned around from having a 16-17 record last year to an 18-13 record this year and avoiding a third straight losing season.

There is also plenty to look forward to as the newcomers seemed to play better than the seniors down the stretch.  The two leading scorers will be returning.  Tyler Madison seemed to come into his own in the final few games as he earned more playing time.  Denzell Watts has proven himself to run the offense; Tosin Mehinti will hopefully continue to work on his offensive game to catch up to his defensive abilities.

Although the season ended without March Madness and the team failed to make the dance, there were several positives that appear that UAB is headed back in the right direction.

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About Tripp Larsen

I am life long Blazer fan, who wishes the best for the program. I am 22 year old psychology major. If you have any comments or arguments feel free to comment, or send me an email at sports@insideuab.com. Writers are wanted so if you want to become a member of the staff send an email or come down to the student media office.
 
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