UAB's Late Surge Falls Short At Dayton, 78-71

Rucker's double-double led UAB

Jan. 5, 2013

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DAYTON, Ohio ---- The UAB men's basketball team cut a 16-point second half deficit to five, but the Dayton Flyers were able to hang on, winning 78-71 at the UD Arena on Saturday.

Trailing 61-45 with 10:33 left, UAB (8-7) mounted a comeback, using an 8-0 run capped by a Rod Rucker layup to pull the Blazers within single digits, 61-53.

The UAB defense buckled down midway through the second half, holding Dayton (10-4) without a field goal for over a seven-minute span (10:33-3:13) to get back in the game.

The Blazers and Flyers traded punches through the final three minutes. With 38 seconds left, UAB got within five, for the second time after intermission, thanks to Rucker going on a 4-0 spurt of his own including a three-point play, making the score 72-67.

However, Dayton's Kevin Dillard was able to close out the game going a perfect 6-for-6 at the line to hold off the Blazers.

Rucker finished with a team-best 20 points and a career-high 15 rebounds marking his fifth double-double of the season.

Three other players reached double figures for the Blazers, including 17 from Terence Jones, 12 from Jordan Swing and 10 from Fahro Alihodzic.

The Flyers were led by post-player Josh Benson, who charted 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting with eight rebounds. Vee Sanford poured in 19 points, including five 3-pointers and Dillard finished with 14 points and 10 assists.

UAB trailed Dayton 44-35 at half. The Blazers outscored the Flyers, 36-34 in the second half, despite shooting just 30.6 percent after intermission.

Saturday's game closed out non-conference play for UAB, as the Blazers will open up Conference USA action on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at UCF in Orlando, Fla.