NOTEBOOK: Blazers Fall To UTEP In C-USA Battle

Rod Rucker led UAB in scoring with 17 points Saturday.

Jan. 18, 2014

Free throws were a problem for UAB in the first half of Saturday night’s 63-61 loss to UTEP at Bartow Arena.

The Blazers made just 6-of-12 free throws in the first 20 minutes against the Miners. In the second half, though, the Blazers couldn’t miss, hitting all nine free throw attempts, including key ones down the stretch. Chad Frazier hit all three attempts after being fouled on a 3-point shot with 5:37 left to trim UTEP’s lead to one point. Rod Rucker hit a pair to give UAB a 59-58 lead with 2:20 remaining and Robert Williams two free throws cut the deficit to 63-61 with 51 seconds left.

“I think our guys feel comfortable, feel confident,” UAB head coach Jerod Haase said of his team’s free throw shooting. “In the first half, we weren’t just able to knock them in.”

*Jordan Swing was questionable for Saturday’s game because of a hip pointer he suffered on Thursday in a win over UTSA. Swing not only started against the Miners but he scored on the opening tip. He played 29 minutes, contributing six points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals.

“It’s fine,” Swing said of his hip. “It was a deep bone bruise. I’ve been doing rehab on it the last couple of days and got a shot on it before the game. I didn’t feel it at all.”

*Swing was joined in the starting lineup by Chad Frazier, C.J. Washington, Rod Rucker and Fahro Alihodzic. Frazier, Swing and Alihodzic started all 17 games for the Blazers this season.



*Saturday marked the first time this season that UAB lost at Bartow Arena. The Blazers were 10-0 at home prior to Saturday night.

*UAB still holds an 8-7 advantage in the series against the Miners. The most recent five games against the Miners have been decided by a total of 14 points. UAB had a three-game winning streak over UTEP snapped on Saturday night.