December 29, 2013

UAB Wins Tenth Game, Tops Alabama A&M 59-50

BARTOW ARENA - It wasn't pretty, but it was a win. UAB struggled in beating Alabama A&M 69-57 Sunday afternoon in Bartow Arena. C. J. Washington scored 19 p oints to lead four Blazers in double-figures as the Blazers won their tenth game of the young season.

The score went back and forth for the first seven minutes, but UAB held a 14-8 lead with 11:24 remaining in the first half. That lead increased to 20-9 with 7:49 left in the period.

The momentum shifted to A&M after that. The Bulldogs scored seven straight points to cut the margin to 26-18.

Jordan Swing ended the streak with a layup for UAB. The Blazers got out of the half with a 30-22 lead.

The first few minutes of the second half continued the exchange of baskets. With 15:18 remaining in the game, UAB held a 39-31 lead.

The Blazers scored eight of the next ten points to increase their lead to 47-33. The Bulldogs cut that margin to 59-50 with 3:31 remaining.

Alabama A&M hit a layup to make the score 62-52 with 2:08 remaining. The Bulldogs called a timeout, but UAB scored the next five points.

The Bulldogs responded with four straight of their own, but it was too little too late. The Blazers finished the game with a 69-57 win.

Washington's 19 points led all scorers. He was joined in double figures for the Blazers by Rob Williams (12), Swing (11), and Fahro Alihodzic (10).

Rod Rucker, who usually starts, was held out of the first half because of "punctuality issues," Coach Jerod Haase said.

Williams also recorded a double-double after leading the Blazers in rebounds with 11. Overall, UAB won the battle of the boards by a 51-to-37 margin.

Denarquelle Tabb came off the bench to lead the Bulldogs in scoring with 18 points. Jeremy Crutcher tossed in 14, and Nicolas West added 11. Tabb also recorded a double-double with 12 a game-high 12 rebounds.

Both teams had trouble scoring from the field. UAB's shooting percentage was only 34.3 percent (23-for-67), while Alabama A&M shot was only slightly better at 35.9 percent (23-of-64).

Despite the win, coach Haase was disappointed. "I'm very aware that after a win I should be positive," he said, "and there are positives to take away from this game. But I'm frustrated with our execution."

"We had our ups and downs tonight," Washington said. "He [coach Haase] wants us to have intensity and fun every game."

UAB improved its record to 10-3 with the win. Alabama A&M dropped to 3-7.

UAB returns to action after next year when they host Newberry (SC) College on January 4. Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m.

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