Jan. 12, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB men's basketball fell to the Memphis Tigers 69-53 on Saturday night in the Fourth Annual Gene Bartow Classic, held in Bartow Arena.
The Blazers dropped to 8-9 overall and 0-2 in Conference USA, while the Tigers improved to 12-3 and 2-0 in league play.
Rod Rucker notched his seventh double-double of the season in the loss, pouring in a team-high 16 points along with 11 rebounds. Fahro Alihodzic also reached double figures, scoring 12 points of his own, shooting 6-for-8 from the floor.
“Our team in the locker room is struggling right now, and that means that they care," head coach Jerod Haase said. "The commitment of the team right now is phenomenal. The execution of what we are doing on the court is not where it needs to be.
"Obviously, we are not shooting well. As a coach, I need to put our players in better spots so that we can get better shots than we are getting. We did some good things tonight. We forced 18 turnovers, and we played hard. The futility on offense was a little too much for us to overcome tonight.”
Memphis used a pair of runs in the first half to claim the 34-20 advantage at the break. The first was a 9-0 spurt between the 18 and 16-minute marks to give the visitors an early 11-2 lead.
The Blazers fought back led by Alihodzic, who hit two straight baskets, followed by a pair of free-throws from teammates Rucker and Terence Jones as the Blazers closed the gap to two, 19-17, with just over four minutes left in the period.
Memphis stopped UAB’s momentum from there, however, with its final first half run – this time a 13-1 scoring surge to close out the opening stanza with the 14-point advantage.
In the second half, the Blazers were unable to close the gap, trailing by double digits the rest of the way.
In total, Memphis posted four players in double figures, led by Adonis Thomas' 19-point effort. Joe Jackson added 17 points and Tarik Black recorded a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
UAB is off until Saturday, January 19th, when the Blazers head to Hattiesburg, Miss., to play Southern Miss. Game time is set for 5 p.m. CT and will be televised on CSS.