Freshman K.C. Whitaker finished with 15 points and four three-pointers on the night.
Nov. 3, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Senior Cameron Moore and junior Ovie Sokoeach posted double-doubles as the UAB men's basketball team held off the Florida Tech Panthers, 75-67, on Thursday night in the team's first of two exhibition games at Bartow Arena.
"Our defense was just really bad and our intensity wasn't where it needs to be," UAB head coach Mike Davissaid. "When we got up 16, it was like we put it in cruise mode. We have a lot of work to do."
Moore showcased his Preseason Conference USA Player of the Year skills by totaling a game-high 23 points, knocking down 10-of-18 shots from the floor. The San Antonio, Texas native also topped the contest with 13 rebounds, including six offensive boards to go along with two blocks.
Soko's double-double featured 17 points and 10 boards, while sinking 5-of-8 from the floor and 7-of-10 from the charity stripe.
The third player to crack double figures was freshman K.C. Whitaker, who ended the night with 15 points, highlighted by draining four shots from beyond the arc. For the night the Blazers finished 10-for-22 as a team from downtown.
UAB led by as many as 16 (33-17) in the opening stanza and 18 points (63-45) in the second half. However, both leads were answered with strong perimeter shooting from the Panthers.
Down 33-17 in the first half, Florida Tech came roaring back utilizing a 14-0 run, including four three-pointers, to slice the lead to just two points at 33-31 with 1:39 remaining.
In the second half, UAB stretched the lead to 18 (63-45), the largest of the night, when Preston Purifoysank a trey with 10:01 remaining. However, the Panthers again responded with an 16-5 run to cut the lead back down to seven (68-61) with just over five minutes remaining.
But the Blazers would hold off the Panthers off the rest of the way to claim the eight-point victory.
The game started off with a bang when Whitaker drained a three-pointer from the corner and was fouled on the Blazers first possession of the night. The converted four-point play got the ball rolling for UAB as the home squad would jump out to an early 8-2 advantage.
An 8-0 run by the Blazers, capped by a deep three-pointer from Jekore Tylerat the buzzer with two Florida Tech defenders in his face sent UAB into the locker room on a high note, owning a 10-point cushion (41-31).
Florida Tech's Julius Reid led the Panthers with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-8 from downtown, while Jackson added 14 points to the box score.
UAB will host Auburn-Montgomery on Saturday, Nov. 12 in the second exhibition contest for the final tune up before the start of the regular season. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. inside Bartow Arena.