March 6, 2013
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- A trio of Blazers reached double figures, but UCF made 13 3-pointers to hold off the UAB men's basketball team, 74-70, on Wednesday night inside Bartow Arena.
The loss for the Blazers snapped a four-game win streak. UAB now sits at 15-15 overall and 7-8 in Conference USA play.
“We probably didn’t play with same edge that we have the past several games, but our kids still played hard," UAB head coach Jerod Haase said. "We outrebounded them and fought down the stretch to come back in a game where we were down 10 points late. We made a conscious effort to protect the paint at all costs. We did a good job of that and we wanted them to shoot a lot of three pointers with a hand in their face. They just made a bunch of them. Our guys just won’t give in.”
UAB held a slight edge at half, 36-35, behind nine first half points from Robert Williams.
After intermission, UCF (20-10, 9-6) opened it up, owning a lead as large as 13 points, 62-49, when Kasey Wilson buried a 3-pointer at the 10:06 mark.
Preston Purifoy jump started a 16-3 Blazer run, by sinking a pair of 3s and Rod Rucker capped the rally with a bucket to even the score at 65-all with 4:04 left in the game.
UCF's Wilson broke the 65-65 tie by converting a four-point play with 3:33 remaining and the visitors would not surrender the lead the rest of the way, winning 74-70.
In total, the Knights made 13 3-pointers on 28 attempts (46.4 percent) in the victory. UCF's 3-point total marked the most allowed the Blazers this season.
Rucker led the home squad with 16 points and 13 boards for his 11th double-double, while Fahro Alihodzic and Jordan Swing chipped in with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
The Knights received a game-high 21 points from Isaiah Sykes, who added 11 boards and five assists. Calvin Newell (18) and Wilson (15) also reached double figures.
UAB closes out the regular season on Saturday at No. 25 Memphis. Tip is set for 11 a.m. CT inside FedExForum and the game will be televised by the CBS Sports Network.