Nov. 27, 2007
LAFAYETTE, La. - Walter Sharpe scored 23 points and Robert Vaden added 19 as UAB rallied in overtime to get a 78-72 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday.
UAB (5-3) extended its win streak to three as the Blazers outscored Louisiana-Lafayette (1-3) 9-3 in the final period to take the road victory. Louisiana-Lafayette suffered its third straight loss.
"I am disappointed with the way we played, but I am happy with the result," UAB head coach Mike Davis said. "We didn't handle their pressure well. We made too many unforced errors and that almost cost us the game. That being said, I am pleased with the way we came together and rallied as a team. It was a total team effort. Anytime you can get a win in a hostile environment on the road, it is only something that will make you a better team down the road."
The Blazers scorched the nets, shooting 57.1-percent from the floor for the game, including 58.1-percent in the second stanza. Despite the hot shooting, UAB trailed the Ragin' Cajuns by five points at the half.
However, UAB would not give up. Trailing 57-52 with 9:52 remaining, the Blazers went on a 9-3 run to take a 61-60 lead with 4:02 left. It was UAB's first lead since holding a 23-22 lead 7:23 left in the first half.
The two teams went back and forth down the stretch. Vaden connected on a three-pointer with two players in his face to tie the game at 66. But after Louisiana-Lafayette took a 68-66 lead on its next posession, UAB missed their opportunity at the other end of the floor. Sharpe was then called for an intentional foul with just 40 second remaining.
However, the Blazers would again rally, thanks in large part to three UL-Lafayette turnovers on its final three posessions. With the score tied at 69 all, freshman Aaron Johnson had a chance to win the contest at the buzzer, but his driving one-handed floater banked off the backboard and off the front of the rim to send the game to overtime.
The Blazers opened the extra period by scoring the first three points and playing stifling defense. With a 72-69 lead, Randell Daigle's 3-pointer for the Ragin' Cajuns with 1:50 on the clock in overtime tied the game at 72-72. But the Blazers hit 6-of-8 free throws over the final 1:40 to hold on for the win.
Sophomore guard Elijah Millsap poured in a career-high 26 points, including three from 3-point range, to lead Louisiana-Lafayette while Chris Gradnigo added 14.
UAB will next be in action when it squares off against Cincinnati on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m. CT at Bartow Arena. The game will be televised to a national audience on CSTV.