Jan. 30, 2014
By: Steve Irvine, UABSports.com
UAB forward C.J. Washington is difficult enough to deal with when he’s working around the basket. On Thursday, the 6-foot-8 junior showed again that he’s also capable outside of the 3-point arc during the Blazers 75-66 victory over Old Dominion at Bartow Arena.
Washington hit 3-of-4 of his 3-point attempts, including two in less than a minute in the second half. He made 3-pointers from the top of the key, right corner and left wing during the game.
“It causes a matchup problem because they don’t know if I’m going to drive it or I’m going to shoot it,” said Washington. “If I catch it and hit a couple then the next couple of possessions I might just get it and drive it.”
Washington made three 3-pointers in a game for the second time this season, matching his output against Troy on Nov. 14. He missed his last nine 3-point attempts before Thursday and was 15-of-48 overall from outside the arc before facing Old Dominion.
One thing Washington didn’t do well on Thursday was avoid foul trouble. He left the game with 5:50 remaining after picking up his fifth foul. UAB head coach Jerod Haase had a substitute ready when Washington committed his fifth foul.
“I don’t want him to foul in that situation but I like the fact that he was aggressive,” Haase said. “That’s something with our team, we want to be the aggressor. I think that’s where we ran into trouble in the second half where we were protecting the lead and trying to be smart. You still have to play with a sense of urgency and keep that competitiveness.”
*UAB and Old Dominion have a long history of playing conference games against each other but this was the first meeting as Conference USA members. They were Sun Belt Conference rivals from 1983 to 1991 and faced each other in the 1984 Sun Belt Conference championship game. UAB beat Old Dominion, 62-60, in that game, which was played at the BJCC.
UAB leads the series, 18-9, with Old Dominion’s last win over the Blazers coming on Dec. 18, 2006. Before Thursday night, the teams hadn’t played each other since visiting UAB beat Old Dominion, 77-62, on Nov. 22, 2008.
*UAB’s Chad Frazier scored at least 20 points in each of the past three games. He had 20 points in a loss at North Texas, 21 points in a win at Tulsa and 27 points in the victory over Old Dominion. He scored at least 20 points seven times this season.
He also had at least 3-pointers in each of the past three games. He hit three against North Texas, five at Tulsa and four on Thursday night.
“I have a lot of confidence right now in my shot, so I’m making a lot of shots now,” Frazier said.
*The Blazers bounced back from back-to-back C-USA losses to win the last two games. UAB followed losses to UTEP and North Texas with the wins over Tulsa and Old Dominion.
“This is huge momentum for us after dropping those two games,” Frazier said.
The Blazers remain at home on Saturday with a 2 p.m. game against East Carolina. UAB is 11-1 at Bartow Arena this season.