Men's Basketball Cruises Past Rice, 80-57

Preston Purifoy finished with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting

Feb. 16, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- Preston Purifoy and Jordan Swing each scored 19 points to lead the UAB men's basketball team by Rice in a wire-to-wire victory, 80-57, on Saturday night at Bartow Arena in Conference USA action.

UAB (12-14, 4-7 C-USA) shot 50 percent for the game, making 30 of 60 shots, including draining 11 of 24 attempts from 3-point range.

“Our guys played hard, and as the game went on, we played smarter and smarter," head coach Jerod Haase said.  "I thought the defensive effort was there, and we had a lot of guys make shots for us. We also shared the basketball really well. I was proud of the way we learned from the Marshall and Tulsa games. We continued to play throughout the game, and we can be a team that is hard to guard when we shoot the ball as well as we shot tonight.”

The offense was spearheaded by Purifoy, who was nearly perfect from the floor, making 7-of-8 shots, with his 19 points one of his career high. Swing posted his second double-double of the season, grabbing 10 boards to go along scoring 19.

Fahro Alihodzic added 11 points, Quincy Taylor made three 3-pointers for nine points and Robert Williams netted eight points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Rice (5-20, 1-10) was held to 36.4 percent shooting and 3-of-18 from downtown. Tamir Jackson led the Owls with 21 points, making 9-of-16 attempts.

The Blazers committed a season-low eight turnovers in the victory, while Rice only made seven miscues of its own.

UAB broke out to an early 8-0 lead to start the game, as Williams and Purifoy each made a 3-pointer to get the Blazers going offensively.

Leading 21-16 with 8:18 remaining in the opening half, the Blazers embarked on an 11-0 run, capped by a Swing trey to put UAB up 32-16 with 3:13 left.

Rice used a run of its own to pull within nine points at the break, as Austin Ramljack converted a three-point play in the final minute of the half.

Purifoy and Taylor buried 3-pointers to start the second half, and UAB would lead by as many as 25 in the second half to earn the victory.

UAB is off until Saturday, Feb. 23, when the Blazers take a trip to Huntington, W.Va. to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd. Game time is set for 6 p.m. CT.