Sophomore Walter Sharpe had career bests of 26 points and 17 rebounds in the Blazers' loss to Rhoda Island.
Nov. 18, 2007
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Will Daniels scored a team-high 23 points and Jimmy Baron added 15 as Rhode Island defeated UAB 74-69 at the Glenn Wilkes Classic Sunday.
The Rams (5-0) took the Classic title with the win and are off to their best start in 17 years, when in 1980 they opened the season 7-0.
The Blazers (2-3) were down by 11 early in the second half, but tied the game at 69 on a Walter Sharpe jumper with 1:05 remaining. Sharpe had the game's lone double-double with a game-high 26 points and 17 rebounds and went 10-of-17 in the paint.
Blazers guard Robert Vaden added 21 points, going just 5-of-20 on field-goal shooting, but was 10-for-11 on free throws. UAB also shot 26 percent in the paint in the first and committed 11 turnovers.
Despite the poor shooting, the Blazers led a majority of the opening 20 minutes. UAB held a 27-24 advantage with three minutes left in the half, but the Rams ended the half on an 11-2 run to take a 35-29 lead into the locker rooms.
After Rhode Island stretched its lead to 11, 44-33 at the 15:06 mark, the Blazers showed they would not give up. With the Rams holding a 57-49 lead with 8:17 left, UAB went on a 10-3 run over the next two minutes to cut the lead within one, 60-59.
Sharpe's jump hook with just over a minute remaining tied the score at 69 all, but the Blazers could not muster another point.
Daniels put in a layup to give Rhode Island the lead, and Lamonte Ulmer added two free throws to result in the final score. The Rams got 18 points off the bench, including 14 from Keith Cothran, and forward Kahiem Seawright contributed eight points and team-high 14 rebounds.
The Blazers struggled from deep, shooting just 21 percent from 3-point range in the game, picking up just three on 19 attempts. Rhode Island also struggled from the perimeter in the game, similarly hitting just three 3-pointers on 14 attempts.