Nov. 27, 2005
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Demario Eddins and Frank Holmes each scored 14 points, but senior guard Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson stole the show Sunday afternoon as UAB rolled up a 79-48 home win over South Carolina State in Bartow Arena. Johnson swiped a Conference USA and UAB record 12 steals in the contest - just one shy of Mookie Blaylock's NCAA record of 13.
"I just went out and did my best to play good defense," Johnson said. "Coach Anderson has always told us that if we can't hit our shots, then we need to play defense. We weren't hitting our shots early, so I just tried to leave it all on the floor."
The Blazers (2-0) did suffer from the field early on, dipping below 30 percent early in the first half before notching a 31.4 percent clip (11-of-35) at the break. Johnson and UAB turned, "The Fastest 40 Minutes In Basketball" up a notch on South Carolina State, however, forcing 21 first-half turnovers from the Bulldogs (1-4). The halftime score was 34-18, UAB.
The second half was much of the same as UAB notched a school-record 23 steals for the game and produced another school record with 38 forced turnovers. The Blazers shot 51.5 percent (17-of-33) in the second half, but South Carolina State managed a 52.4 percent accuracy (22-of-42) for the contest.
"In the UMass game, we shot the ball well," UAB head coach Mike Anderson said of Friday's 86-77 win over Massachusetts. Tonight, we didn't shoot well but our defense was solid. We missed a lot of wide-open shots. They played a zone defense all game and played the percentages. It worked to their advantage."
The Bulldogs were led by Brian Mason's 14 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Lee had six points and 11 boards as well for the Bulldogs.
UAB next hosts Sun Belt power Western Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. CT Tuesday in Bartow Arena. Tickets are available by calling the UAB ticket office at (205) 975-UAB1.