Blazers Crash Boards In 82-63 Win Over Navy

Rod Rucker posted a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds

Nov. 18, 2012

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Four players scored in double figures and the UAB men's basketball team out-rebounded Navy by 20 to lead the Blazers to an 82-63 victory inside Bartow Arena on Sunday afternoon.

UAB (2-1) will return to Bartow Arena on Tuesday, to host Prairie View A&M at 7 p.m. CT.

The Blazers shot 50 percent (33-for-66) as the UAB post players were active on the glass, recording 47 rebounds to Navy's 27, leading to 20 second-chance points and 48 points in the paint.

"I thought our size inside and our ability to rebound the basketball played a big part in the game," head coach Jerod Haase said.  "But overall, our execution wasn't what I wanted."

The front-court duo of Rod Rucker and Fahro Alihodzic posted identical numbers from the floor, each shooting 7-for-10 totaling 16 points apiece. Rucker added a game-high 13 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

Jordan Swing (12) and Preston Purifoy (12) also reached double figures, while Terence Jones dished out eight helpers and added seven points in the victory.

In the first half, UAB's lead reached double digits, but Navy (2-2) cut the deficit to five points, 27-22, when Phil Guglielmo drained a trey with 6:11 left prior to intermission.

The Blazers' offense responded, using an 18-3 run by hitting eight of its last nine shots to close out the half up 45-25.  Rucker sparked the rally, scoring three straight buckets , while Swing and Robert Williams drained 3-pointers in the scoring surge.

UAB outscored Navy, 24-2, in the paint in the first half as the Blazers would cruise the rest of the way to the 19-point victory.  The Green and Gold never trailed the Midshipmen, earning the wire-to-wire win.

"Our effort today was not what we have to have (to be successful)," Haase said.  "Effort cannot have ebb and flow to it.  We had that today and it has to change."

Navy was paced by Brandon Ventuirini's 13 points, as the guard sank five of 12 shots, including a trio of 3-pointers.  The visitors were held to just 35.1 percent shooting from the floor, making just 20 of 57 shots.