UAB Takes On Memphis In Bartow Classic

Rod Rucker has recorded a team-best six double-doubles this season

Jan. 11, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB men's basketball team will host rival Memphis in the Fourth Annual Bartow Classic on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT inside Bartow Arena.

The Bartow Classic is sponsored by UAB Medicine as it recognizes the late UAB men’s basketball coach and Athletics Director Gene Bartow for his long standing commitment to Blazers’ athletics, who passed away from stomach cancer a year ago.  Proceeds from each ticket sold are donated to the Coach Gene Bartow Fund For Cancer Research.

UAB (8-8, 0-1 C-USA) vs. Memphis (11-3, 1-0)
Date:  January 12, 2013
Time:  7:30 p.m. CT
Location:  Birmingham, Ala.
Venue:  Bartow Arena (8,500)

Talent:  Matt Stewart (pxp), Brian Oliver (analyst)
Radio:  WUHT-FM 107.7
Talent:  David Crane (pxp), Steve Mitchell (analyst)
Live Stats: GameTracker
Twitter Updates: @UABathletics

The Series
Memphis leads 34 -10
Last Meeting:  Memphis 79, UAB 45 in Memphis, Tenn. (2/11/12)

Memphis holds the upperhand in the all-time series, winners of the last 13 games. However, the last three meetings in Bartow Arena have been decided by 5 pts or less.

UAB’s last win over Memphis was March 2, 2006 -- 80-74 at home.

The Coaches
UAB:  Jerod Haase (Kansas, '97)
Record at UAB:  8-8 (1st season)
Career Record:  8-8 (1st season)

Memphis:  Josh Pastner (Arizona, '98)
Record at Memphis:  86-32 (4th season)
Career Record:  86-32 (4th season)

On The Blazers
>> UAB enters Saturday’s game with an overall record of 8-8 after falling at UCF, 64-48.

>> In the loss at UCF, Rod Rucker posted his sixth double-double of the season with 17 pts and 14 rebounds.

>> The Blazers are 7-0 at home this season and have won 11 consecutive contests inside Bartow Arena dating back to last season.  It is the second longest active home winning streak in C-USA (Southern Miss, 20 games).

>> UAB is 12-5 in C-USA home openers and hosts Memphis to start the home league portion of the schedule for the second straight year.

>> UAB is just 1-7 in road/netural site games during the 2012-13 campaign.

>> The seven non-conference teams that have defeated UAB own a combined record of 77-31 (.713).

>> UAB is one of six teams in Division I this season that does not have a freshman on its roster.

>> UAB has used the same starting five in all 16 games this season:  G Terence Jones, G Robert Williams, F Jordan Swing, F Rod Rucker and C Fahro Alihodzic.

>> UAB ranks third in Conference USA in scoring, averaging 76.7 points per game.  The Blazers also rank second in the league in assists (16.8).

>> In Wednesday’s loss at UCF, it marked the first time in 538 games the Blazers failed to hit a 3-pointer.  The last time UAB did not make a trey was vs. Chattanooga on Dec. 18, 1996.

On The Tigers
>> Memphis has won 5 five straight games and nine of its last 10 overall after defeating East Carolina in its C-USA opener, 67-54 at home.  In that contest, Joe Jackson led the Tigers with 15 points.

>> Tigers used a balanced scoring lineup with four players averaging in double figures led by Joe Jackson (13.8 ppg). As a team, Memphis is averaging 74.3 points per game, fourth best in the conference, while allowing 65.4.  The Tigers rank third in assists per game in C-USA with 15.6, one slot behind the Blazers in the league' statistics.

>> Memphis leads C-USA in blocks per game, averaging 5.4.  D.J. Stephens tops the Tigers with 25 blocks and also leads the squad in rebounds per game (6.4).


Nail Biters In Bartow With Memphis

Despite Memphis owning a 13-game winning streak over the Blazers, the last three match ups between the two schools have been extremely close, decided by five points or fewer. 

On January 22, 2011, UAB and Memphis went to overtime in Bartow, but the Tigers prevailed in overtime, 76-73.

The last time UAB and Memphis met in Bartow Arena, the Tigers were able to sneak by with a 62-59 victory on January 7, 2012.


Opens 18th Season In C-USA

The Blazers are in their 18th season as members of Conference USA and own a record of 12-5 in league home openers.  UAB will welcome Memphis for its first league game in Bartow Arena for the second consecutive season.  The Tigers clipped UAB, 62-59, on January 7, 2012 last season.

Perfect At Home

UAB has won 11 consecutive home contests dating back to last season.  The last time UAB lost in Bartow Arena was on Jan. 28, 2012 vs. East Carolina, 73-66.

In fact, it is the second longest home winning streak in C-USA trailing only Southern Miss, who has won 20 straight home contests.  USM’s last home loss concidentially came to the Blazers during the end of the 2010-11 season.

Three Blazers On Fire From Foul Line

A trio of UAB players rank in the top-10 in Conference USA in foul shooting percentage.  Preston Purifoy tops the league making 94.9 percent, followed by Jordan Swing (4th/85.5%) and Fahro Alihodzic (T6th/82.9%).

In fact, Purifoy has yet to miss a foul shot at home, going 29-for-29 at the line, while Swing is not far behind making 23 of 24 attempts in Bartow Arena.

Furthermore, Purifoy has made 26 consecutive free throws overall, with his last miss coming against TCU on Nov. 24 in the South Padre Island Tournament.

Blazers Go Cold In Orlando

In UAB’s C-USA opener at UCF, the Blazers managed to shoot a season-low 26 percent from the floor, making 20 of 77 shots, falling 64-48.

Despite the poor shooting, the Blazers took 25 more shots than UCF (77 to 52), out-rebounded the Knights, 46-45, including 25 offensive rebounds, forced 21 turnovers and only committing 12 and outscored UCF in the paint 36 to 24.

The 48 points for the Blazers marked a season low. 

It was also the first time that UAB held an opponent under 70 points and suffered a loss.  The Blazers were previously 6-0 when keeping the opposition below 70 points.

3-Point Streak Still Comes To An End

In the loss to UCF on January 9, 2013, the Blazers were unable to make a 3-pointer, going 0-for-23 from beyond the arc.

It marked the first time in 538 games the Blazers were not able to connect from downtown.  The last time UAB had gone without making a 3-pointer was vs. Chattanooga on Dec. 18, 1996.

Double-Double Machine

Rod Rucker posted his sixth double-double of the season, recording 17 points and 14 rebounds at UCF.  It marked his second straight game with a double-double and now has 13 games scoring in double figures and seven contests with 10 or more rebounds this year.