Feb. 9, 2006
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - John Tofi scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead UTEP to a 65-37 victory over UAB Wednesday night. The victory moved the Miners into sole possession of second place in Conference USA. It was just UAB's second loss in 14 games.
The Miners (14-6, 7-1 Conference USA) led throughout the game, including a game-high 31-point lead with 1:13 remaining. Jason Williams added 14 points and nine rebounds for UTEP, and Edgar Moreno scored 11.
Squeaky Johnson led UAB (16-5, 6-2) with 10 points. He was the only UAB player to score in double digits.
UTEP led 34-18 at halftime after the Blazers connected on just seven of 30 first-half field goal attempts. The Miners started the game on a 10-0 run and never looked back. The second half was no better for UAB, which only improved a field goal attempt and shot seven for 29 after the break.
"Especially on the road and in an enviroment like this, you've got to be able to put the ball in the hole," UAB head coach Mike Anderson said. "You've got to give credit to UTEP. They came out and established tempo. And we didn't make shots, so we really coudn't get into the game that we normally play."
In a battle of two solid defensive teams with very different styles, UTEP prevailed. The Miners held the Blazers' leading scorer, Marvett McDonald, scoreless for the first time in his two-year UAB career. The senior sharp-shooter was 0-for-9 from the floor for the game.
UTEP forced UAB into 23.7 percent field goal shooting (14-of-59) for the game and held the Blazers to just three of 19 three-pointers. The Miners also dominated the boards, 51-27.
"It seemed like we were a half-step slow for some reason tonight," Anderson said. "I thought I saw that even in practice, so maybe we have some guys that are wearing down. I'll take the blame on that. I didn't have them ready, especially in an environment like this."
UTEP was buoyed by a raucous home crowd of 10,983.
The 37 point output ties for the second-lowest scoring effort by a UAB team. The 2001-02 Blazers managed just 36 in a road loss at Southern Miss on Jan. 12, 2002.
Anderson's club returns to Bartow Arena to open a two-game home stand Saturday. UAB will face East Carolina at 7:30 p.m. CT.