December 29, 2012
Blazers Overwhelm Northeastern 83-63.
BARTOW ARENA - The school from Boston entered the game as only a 2½ underdog to the Blazers. The reason for the close betting line quickly became apparent. The Huskies were big, quick, and good outside shooters. They used all three assets to build up a quick 15-10 lead.
UAB responded with a 12-0 run to take a 22-15 lead. Northeastern regained its composure, going on a 7-3 run to cut the score to 25-22 with 7:55 remaining in the first half.
UAB had a slight edge after that. Jordan Swing hit a three-pointer with 3:06 remaining in the period to give UAB a 40-32 lead.
A pair of free throws was the best Northeastern could do for the rest of the half. UAB was better, with Preston Purifoy hitting a trey at the buzzer to give the Blazers a 47-34 halftime lead. "It was big, momentum-wise," Coach Jerod Haase said of the shot after the game.
Northeastern scored the first four points in the second half, but UAB got the next six. That prompted a timeout from the Huskies coach, Bill Coon with UAB leading 53-38.
UAB maintained the advantage after the timeout. With 11:44 remaining in the game, the Blazers held a 62-40 lead.
Northeastern responded with six straight points, prompting a timeout from Blazer coach Haase. That stopped the bleeding, with UAB holding a 64-48 advantage with 7:35 remaining.
UAB built on that over the next five minutes, holding an 81-58 advantage with 2:24 remaining. It was wrap up time after that, with the Blazers leaving the arena with an 83-63 win.
Swing led the Blazers with 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. "Jordan was flirting with a triple-double and I was pushing him harder," Haase said after the game. "I feel like I filled up the state sheet pretty well," Swing said after the game.
Three other Blazers joined Swing in double figures. Terrence Jones and Preston Purifoy scored 17 points each. Rod Rucker had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Quincy Ford led Northeastern with a double-double - 14 points and 10 rebounds. Jonathan Lee also reached double figures with 11 points.
Northeastern center Reggie Spencer, a Tuscaloosa native who had 11 first-half points, fouled out with 7:32 remaining, hurting the Huskies both on offense and defense. He finished with 13 points in the game.
A happy Coach Haase described the game as "the most complete game we've played all year." Guard Terrence Jones had no explanation except to say that "When we're at home, we feel like a completely different team."
On another note, Jekore Tyler (who was suspended for the previous game)was not listed on the team for the game. Haase reported after the game that Tyler had been dismissed from the team.
UAB improved to 7-6 on the season, while Northeastern dropped to 5-7. The Blazers take a break for New Year's before returning to action with a home game against Georgia Southern on Wednesday January 2.
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