Feb. 25, 2006
DALLAS, Texas -- Marvett McDonald scored a career-high 39 points behind a UAB record-tying eight three-pointers and the Blazers captured win No. 20 with a 73-68 win at SMU Saturday night. The victory gave Mike Anderson his fourth straight 20-win season as a head coach and was UAB's 17th 20-win season in 28 varsity seasons of Blazer basketball.
McDonald was 12-of-21 from the floor and 8-of-12 from three-point range for UAB (20-5, 10-2 Conference USA). Richard Jones scored 10 for the Blazers, who shot 53.8 percent in the second half to pull away from a 31-30 lead at the intermission.
Devon Pearson had 15 points and 15 rebounds for SMU (12-14, 4-9 C-USA) which not only lost on senior night, but saw leading scorer and senior Bryan Hopkins score a career-low two points on 1-of-10 shooting from the field.
UAB forced 19 Mustang turnovers and held SMU to 28.6 percent shooting in the second half and just 36.7 percent from the field for the game.
Bamba Fall scored 14 points for SMU behind a perfect 10-of-10 performance from the free-throw line. Derrick Roberts had 11 points off the bench for Jimmy Tubbs's team, which out-rebounded UAB, 48-29.
SMU built a 10-point lead at 23-13 on a Dez Willingham three-pointer with 7:57 to go in the first half, but UAB fought back behind treys from McDonald and Squeaky Johnson and a jumper from Derrick Broom to pull within two at 25-23 just over three minutes later. A pair of Lawrence Kinnard free throws with :26 to go before halftime gave UAB its first lead since a McDonald three opened the game.
The second half was back-and-forth, neither team leading by more than four points until back-to-back McDonald bombs made it 57-51 at the 9:06 point. SMU came back to pull within two points at 61-59 on a pair of Brian Epps free throws at the 5:24 mark. But Paul Delaney scored on a driving layup and McDonald tossed in another three and UAB never looked back.
SMU made it interesting late when a Roberts trifecta with :18 left cut the UAB lead to three at 71-68, but McDonald hit a pair of free-throws with :17 left to seal the win.
McDonald's 39 point performance was the second-highest single-game scoring total in school history, behind only Andy Kennedy's 41 points against Saint Louis in the 1990-91 season. It eclipses a 38-point performance by Mo Finley against Mississippi State in December of 2003 for second place.
The eight three-pointers tied Kennedy and Barry Bearden for the most in a game by a UAB player. Bearden tallied eight against Michigan State in 1989-90. Kennedy tossed in eight treys in the school-record 41-point game against Saint Louis and again against Alabama State in November of 1989.
UAB next welcomes No. 3 Memphis to Bartow Arena on Thursday, March 2 for an 8:30 p.m. CT tip on ESPN2. The game has been sold out for two weeks.