December 20, 2012
UAB Eases Past ULM, 76-69
BARTOW ARENA - Rob Rucker scored 22 points to lead UAB to a 76-69 win over UL-Monroe Thursday night. The win improved the Blazers' record to 6-6 on the season as they grabbed a win despite a spotty performance.
UAB seemed to take the 1-6 ULM Warhawks for granted at first. After the first eight minutes of play, the Blazers were hitting only 27 percent from the field and UL-Monroe held a 14-9 lead. Two quick baskets - one a three-pointer - put the score back in UAB's favor, 15-14. That sparked a 12-0 run that gave the Blazers a 21-14 lead.
ULM fought back with a 9-3 run that cut the margin to 24-23. A lay-up by Fahro Alihodzic broke that run. UAB took control after that, sparked by Rod Rucker's 11 first-half points, and took a 37-31 lead into the locker rooms.
UAB opened the second half with a 12-7 run for a 49-38 lead with 15:17 remaining. After that, it was mostly an exchange of baskets, with the Blazers building up a 15-point lead (57-42) with 11:43 remaining in the game. It got ragged at times after that. Still, at the buzzer, UAB held on for a 76-69 win.
Rucker led UAB with 22 points. "Rod was a bright spot of the game," coach Jerod Haase said after the game. "He did more than 22 points." Rucker also led the team with nine rebounds, had one block shot, and dished out three assists.
Rucker was joined in double figures by Rob Williams (12), Preston Purifoy (12), and Jordan Swing (11).
Haase also singled Swing out for praise. "I've been hard on Jordan to become a complete player," Haase said. "He's going to be more than a big-time scorer for us."
Trent Mackey, who came into the game averaging less than one-point per game, led ULM with 17 points. That was closely followed by Kyle Koszuta with 15. Marcelis Hansberry added 11. Jayon James had a game-high 11 rebounds.
UAB shot 41.3 percent (26-for-63) on the night. while ULM hit 50 percent of their shots (27-of-54). UAB had the advantage in turnovers, forcing 19 to only 12 for the Warhawks.
UAB also had the advantage at the free-throw line, hitting 16-of-20. ULM managed only 5-for-13 from the charity stripe.
"We're obviously glad to go into the Christmas break with a win," Haase said after the game.
That didn't mean he was happy with the performance, though. "It was a fight tonight between two teams trying to get a win and between me and some of our players to play like I wanted," Haase added.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial