Jan. 28, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Derrick Broom scored a career-high 19 points to lead UAB to an 87-73 victory over Southern Miss on Saturday. Marvett McDonald added 13 points and five assists for UAB (15-4, 5-1 Conference USA). The victory was the Blazers' 11th in their last 12 games.
"This was an important night for us," UAB head coach Mike Anderson said. "We shot the ball really well, especially in the first half. It was important for our guys to make shots and they did that. Our offense played well and I am proud of the guys tonight. When we shoot the ball like that it takes pressure off our defense."
David Cornwell had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead Southern Miss (7-14, 1-5).
Brooms' previous career high had been 12 points and his high this season had been five. All but two of his points against Southern Miss came in the first half as he hit five 3-pointers. The Douglasville, Ga., native was inserted into the starting lineup for the contest for just the second time in his career.
"I did have a feeling about Derrick," Anderson said. "I wanted him to get out and get his confidence going, look for a shot and get in a zone. It's so important to get off to a good start, and when you can make shots like that, it can get you going."
UAB got off to a strong start from the field. Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson hit two 3-pointers and a driving layup for the Blazers' first 8 points. Broom made three 3s to hit a 14-4 run that gave UAB a 27-13 lead. The Blazers later had a 15-0 run that helped them to a 54-37 halftime lead.
UAB led by as many as 26 points in the second half before Southern Miss closed the gap late.
Courtney Beasley scored 12 points for Southern Miss, Jarekus Singleton had 11 and Travis Hall 10.
"We are not in this team's league," Golden Eagles head coach Larry Eustachy said. "We are in their league physically as far as we are a member of the league (Conference USA), but we are not in this league by any means. This is where we have to get to. I knew that when I took the job, but it's going to be an uphill battle. But it is a battle I am looking forward to."
The win helps UAB keep pace with Memphis and UTEP who are tied for first place in Conference USA standings. The Tigers and Miners are 5-0 in league play. UAB is a half game out in second place at 5-1.
UAB has a week off before returning to action at UCF on Saturday, Feb. 4. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT in UCF Arena in Orlando, Fla.