UAB Holds Off Georgia Southern, 65-61

UABSPORTS.COM Terence Jones scored a season-high 19 points
UABSPORTS.COM
Terence Jones scored a season-high 19 points
UABSPORTS.COM

Jan. 2, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Terence Jones poured in a season-high 19 points to reach the 1,000-career point mark and the UAB men’s basketball team forced 23 turnovers to defeat Georgia Southern, 65-61, on Wednesday night at Bartow Arena.

With the win, UAB improved to 8-6 overall and captured its 11th straight home victory dating back to last season.  The Blazers are a perfect 7-0 at home during the 2012-13 campaign.

“My feeling right now is that I am really excited about our team,” head coach Jerod Haase said.  “The game tonight was a struggle, but we did not give in at all. I think we really got after (Georgia Southern) defensively and made some good shots down the line. It was a struggle for us offensively, and there are obviously some things we can work on. It is not always going to be easy, and I feel that we were able to play as a team, and that proved to be very important.”

Jones, who played the last three seasons at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, had a night to remember, making 7-of-10 shots en route to 19 points and added seven assists to his stat line.

Rod Rucker and Fahro Alihodzic also each scored in double figures, posting 16 and 12 points, respectively.  Rucker made 8-of-13 attempts and corralled six rebounds.

In the first half, Jones drove in for a layup to give the Blazers a 20-18 with 5:31 remaining.  The basket gave the Baltimore, Md., native an even 1,000 points for his collegiate career.

Georgia Southern (6-8) would knot up the score at 22-all on a Marin Baynham jumper, but Jones would convert a 3-point play to close out the half with the Blazers up 25-22.  UAB would not surrender the lead the rest of the night.

Up 59-56 with 27 seconds remaining, Jones hit a floater to put the Blazers up five.  UAB would make five free throws down the stretch around a pair of late baskets from GSU to seal the victory, 65-61.

“(Terence) really played like a fifth-year senior who has been through different situations,” Haase said. “He was willing to make big plays. He made some mistakes throughout – he had six turnovers, but seven assists – and he shot the ball well, and I think when we have different guys do that on different nights, that works in our favor. I am really proud of the way he stepped up and really made plays.”

C.J. Reed paced the Eagles’ offense, scoring a game-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting and 4-of-7 from downtown.

UAB finished the night shooting 42.9 percent from the floor, making 24 of 56 attempts.  The Blazers outscored the Eagles 40 to 30 in the paint, and recorded 20 points off 23 GSU turnovers.

Next up for UAB is a trip to Dayton, Ohio to play the Dayton Flyers on Saturday.  Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.