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View from the Booth - David Crane

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ANOTHER SECOND-HALF SURGE SAVES THE DAY

Dec. 22, 2010

Blazer fans,

First and foremost, HAPPY HOLIDAYS! I hope you are all enjoying this special time of year with friends, family and loved ones. As you celebrate the Season, I do hope you'll remember those who are struggling right now. For those dealing with health issues, financial pains, the loss of a loved one, or any other burden, this can be an extremely trying part of the year.

As for the Blazers, December has been an interesting month, to say the least. The month has featured four wins, one two-point loss at Georgia, a two-week break between games, and one of the more memorable comebacks in UAB history. The Green and Gold looked like they were dead in the water against VCU on Tuesday night. The Rams shot the lights out in the first half, and the Blazers trailed by 12 at halftime. After cutting the deficit to only eight early in the second half, VCU blew the game open. The Rams led by 19 with just over 13 minutes to play...it was ugly...it was all but over...and then a funny thing happened. UAB got tough. And the Blazers started making shots. And the Rams lost their swagger. And Bartow Arena got LOUD.

The defense sparked the rally. UAB forced a total of 22 turnovers in the game, and VCU didn't get an official shot off in the final two-plus minutes of the game. The Blazers also started making some big shots. Dexter Fields and Jamarr Sanders put on a show from behind the arc, and the 19-point deficit began to shrink. UAB's determination and grittiness paid off in the end. After taking their first lead of the night with less than a minute to go, the Green and Gold got two more defensive stops to put the game away, 68-65.

There were any number of heroes in the game, and it was a stunning reminder that no lead is truly safe in college basketball. When a team competes for 40 minutes, there's always a chance. My only question is, "Do we really have to wait for the second half?" Mike Davis has watched his team struggle in the first half of almost every single game this season. Slow starts have been a problem, and that is one issue that will eventually prove to be costly. Although, second-half comebacks like Tuesday night are fun to watch!

VCU is a good basketball team, and I think that will prove to be a quality win for the Blazers as the season progresses. The Green and Gold will have another shot at an impressive win on Monday night. George Washington comes to Bartow Arena for the final game of 2010. Tip time is 7 PM, and I do hope you'll spend part of your holiday with us. The fans were treated to quite a show against the Rams, and the atmosphere at Bartow in the closing minutes was simply electric. The players were reminded to never, every give up, and the fans were reminded how big of a role they can play. VCU crumbled in the game's final minutes, and the Blazer fans were a big reason why. You can make a difference, and I hope you will on Monday against the Colonials.

Until then, however, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. Santa brought an early present on Tuesday...and I sure enjoyed it!

I wish you all peace, joy and happiness this Holiday Season.

Happy Holidays and GO BLAZERS!!!

DC

 
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