Dec. 7, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Four players reached double figures and UAB's defense kept the Middle Tennessee offense, the top shooting team in the nation, in check as the Blazers earned a 66-56 victory on Wednesday at Bartow Arena.
UAB (2-6) was led by Jordan Swing's 15 points and Ovie Soko recorded his second double-double of the season. The Blazers shot 46.7 (21-for-45) from the floor and made 19 of 26 shots from the foul line (76 percent) to snap a four-game losing streak.
"We are getting better as a basketball team," head coach Mike Davis said. "I think we have to continue to get better. We shared the ball a lot tonight. On defense I think we are doing a good job of holding teams under 60 points per game and now it's all about (our offense) scoring some points."
MTSU (8-2) entered the night with the top shooting percentage in the nation at 56.7 percent, but managed to make only 21 buckets on 51 attempts (41.2 percent), including just a 27.3 shooting tally in the opening stanza.
In total, eight players registered at least three points for the Green and Gold as Preston Purifoy poured in a season-high 12 and Cameron Moore added 11. Point guard Quincy Taylor recorded seven points, all coming from the charity stripes in 10 total attempts.
In the opening half, the Blazers built a 32-20 lead entering the locker room, thanks to a 14-0 run that held MTSU scoreless for 9:05.
During the rally, Swing scored all six of his first half points as the lead would grow to as much as 15 (25-10) following a 3-pointer from Purifoy at the 5:21 mark. UAB shot 54.5 percent from the floor prior to intermission, compared to MTSU connecting on just 6 of 22 attempts.
After the break, which featured UAB football head coach Garrick McGee addressing fans at half court, MTSU came out firing to the tune of a 9-0 spurt to dice the Blazers lead to just three points, 32-29, with 16:44 remaining in the contest.
The two teams exchanged punches much of the second half, as the Blue Raiders made it a one-point game, 37-36, when Shawn Jones sank a jumper at the 14:03 mark.
However, UAB would not give up the lead the rest of the contest. In the final 90 seconds, the Blazers connected on six of eight foul shots to secure the victory.
MTSU featured three players with 10-or-more points, led by Marcos Knight's 16-point effort.
UAB is off until Dec. 20, when the Blazers travel to Richmond, Va. to play the VCU Rams at 6:30 p.m. CT.