UAB Downs Rice, 75-68

Jan. 18, 2006

Box Score

HOUSTON (AP) - Marvett McDonald scored 22 points to lead UAB to a 75-68 victory over Rice on Wednesday night. McDonald hit 6-of-12 3-pointers for UAB (13-3, 3-0 Conference USA). Frank Holmes added 13 points and Wen Mukubu and Paul Delaney each had 10 for UAB.

Morris Almond led Rice (8-8, 2-1) with 29 points before fouling out. J.R. Harrison added 14 points. Lorenzo Williams had six points and 11 assists.

"It was a good win for our basketball team," UAB head coach Mike Anderson said. "I thought we started off with our defense and created. They came out in a zone and for a while there, slowed us down. But we started making some shots and got into our defense and had a 12-point lead at halftime."

After Rice led by four at 11-7 with 15:06 to play, UAB reeled off a 14-1 run which included three unanswered three-pointers by McDonald to take control of the contest. The Blazers wound up with a 39-27 lead at the break, but led by as many as 15 in the first half.

The Blazers had a 56 percent field goal performance from the field while holding Rice to 37 percent before the intermission. Both teams shot 46 percent from the field for the game.

Anderson's club extened the 12-point halftime lead to 21 points with 14:19 to play on another McDonald three-pointer at 54-33. After three minutes of back-and-forth play, Rice mounted a comeback, cutting a 15-point lead at 61-46 for UAB to just six at 69-63 with a minute to play.

Almond had 11 points in the spurt for the Owls.

"We got a little bit of a cushion but our guys started playing, kind of, not to lose," Anderson said. "But you've got to expect on the road, with that much time, good teams will come back at us and that's what Rice did."



McDonald, Delaney and Mukubu each connected on a pair of free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Squeaky Johnson had eight assits and three steals in the victory for the Blazers.

The win extends UAB's win streak to nine games heading into Saturday's nationally-televised showdown with Houston in Bartow Arena. The Blazers and Cougars tip at 5 p.m. CT in a contest that will be televised live by CSTV.