March 10, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Demario Eddins hit a 3-pointer from the left corner with .8 seconds left Thursday afternoon as the UAB Blazers rallied to defeat DePaul 59-56 in the quarterfinal round of the Kelly Tires Conference USA Tournament.
DePaul could not get off the last shot, and UAB will move to Friday's game with No. 6 Louisville, the tournament's top seed, which defeated TCU 85-61 earlier in the afternoon session.
Eddins hit another 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the Blazers (21-9) their first lead of the game, 56-55, with 1:28 remaining.
Quemont Greer led No. 5 seed DePaul (19-10) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Sammy Mejia finished with 15, although he connected on only five of 13 shots. Drake Diener scored 14.
The pesky UAB defense with its face-up, hand-waving, trapping approach, annoyed DePaul through much of the early stages, but the Blue Demons seemed to weather the intensity, holding down their turnovers and never relinquishing the lead until the final minutes.
When Greer scored inside with 9:41 left, DePaul had rebuilt the lead to 45-35.
After Eddins' 3-pointer with 1:28 left, Mejia hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 56 with 1:17 remaining. But Drake Diener was called for walking with 28.5 seconds left, setting the stage for Eddins' final bucket.
DePaul jumped to a double-digit lead in the first half thanks to poor shooting from the Blazers, who missed nine of their first 11 shots. Mejia's 10-footer gave the Blue Demons a 24-13 lead with just under four minutes left.
But UAB hit three of its final four shots in the half as part of an 11-2 run in the final minutes to cut the DePaul advantage to 26-24 at the break.