UAB Drops C-USA Opener at UCF, 64-48

UABSPORTS.COM Rod Rucker posted 17 points and 14 rebounds
UABSPORTS.COM
Rod Rucker posted 17 points and 14 rebounds
UABSPORTS.COM

Jan. 9, 2013

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ORLANDO, Fla. ---- Rod Rucker posted his sixth double-double of the season, but the UAB men's basketball team struggled to shoot the basketball all night long, falling at UCF, 64-48, on Wednesday night to open up Conference USA play.

UAB (8-8, 0-1 C-USA) shot just 26 percent from the field, making 20 of 77 shots, and going 0-for-23 from 3-point range.  It marked the first time in 538 games that the Blazers were held without a 3-point basket.

Despite their difficulties offensively, the Blazers were able force 21 UCF turnovers, total 25 offensive rebounds and score 36 points in the paint. Unfortunately, UAB was unable to make baskets consistently in the UCF Arena, falling to the Knights for the fourth straight time.

Rucker finished with a team-best 17 points and 14 rebounds, seven offensive, to pace the UAB offense.  Terence Jones added 10 points in the loss.

UAB's shooting struggles began in the first half, as the Blazers fell behind 31-23 at intermission, shooting 27.5 percent in the opening stanza.

In the first half, the Blazers were in striking distance, down just 18-16 with 11:54 left.  However, the home squad would close out the half on a 13-4 run, leading by eight at the break.

In the second half, UAB came out the gates on an 8-0 spurt, to knot the score at 31-all with 15:52 remaining. 

The UCF (11-4, 1-0 C-USA) lead would grow to double digits in the second half, but UAB fought back to get within six, 52-46, on a Jones layup with 5:45 remaining.

The Knights would close out the contest on a 12-4 run to earn the victory.

UCF placed three players in double figures, led by Calvin Newell's 14 points.  Keith Clanton registered a double-double, 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Tristan Spurlock added 12 points of his own.

UAB hosts its C-USA home opener on Saturday against Memphis at 7:30 p.m. CT in the fourth annual Bartow Classic and will be televised on CSS.