UAB Eyes Third Straight Win By Trekking To ECU

Preston Purifoy leads C-USA in free throw percentage (91.2 percent)

Feb. 12, 2013

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The Last Meeting
East Carolina91
January 23, 2013
Bartow Arena
East Carolina Bests Blazers, 91-85
Rod Rucker poured in a game-high 20 points and UAB received 30 points off the bench, but East Carolina was able to pull away down the stretch to defeat the Blazers 91-85 in Conference USA men's basketball action on Wednesday night.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Winners of consecutive league games and three of its last four, the UAB men's basketball team treks to Greenville, N.C., to play the East Carolina Pirates on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. CT inside Minges Coliseum.

UAB (11-13, 3-6 C-USA)
at East Carolina (13-9, 4-5 C-USA)
Date: February 13, 2013
Time:  6 p.m. CT
Location:  Greenville, N.C.
Venue: Minges Coliseum (8,000)

Video: All-Access (
Radio:  WUHT-FM 107.7
Talent:  David Crane (pxp), Bobby Frasor (analyst)
Live Stats:  GameTracker (
Twitter Updates:  @UABathletics

The Series
UAB leads, 12-4
Last Meeting:  ECU 91, UAB 85 in Birmingham, Ala. (1/25/13)

The Coaches
UAB:  Jerod Haase (Kansas, '97)
Record at UAB:  11-13 (1st season)
Career Record:  11-13 (1st season)

ECU: Jeff Lebo (North Carolina, '89)
Record at ECU: 46-40 (3rd season)
Career Record:  257-196 (15th season)

On The Blazers
>> UAB enters Wednesday's game after defeating Marshall, 75-61, last Saturday.

>> In the victory, the Blazers connected on 9-of-16 3-point attempts, for a season-best 56.3 percentage.  It marked the third time this season UAB shot 50 percent or better from downtown.

>> Rod Rucker posted his team-best ninth double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the win over the Herd.

>> UAB is 3-3 during the last six games, with five of the six games being decided by seven points or less.

>> UAB ranks 10th in the country in assists per game, dishing out 16.7 per contest.  Four players have recorded 50 or more helpers on the team this season, led by Terence Jones' 97.

>> Quincy Taylor tops C-USA in league games in 3-point shooting percentage, making 52 percent (13-of-25) of his attempts.  Prior to the start of conference play, Taylor was 4-for-23 from beyond the arc.

>> In the last meeting between UAB and ECU, the Pirates won 91-85 at Bartow Arena.  The two teams combined for the most points in a league game  (176) and UAB attempted the most shots (80) in a conference contest this season.

>> UAB is a perfect 6-0 at Minges Coliseum, winning by an average of 9.7 points per meeting.  However, ECU has won three of the last four matchups -- two at Bartow Arena and once at the C-USA Tournament during the 2010-11 campaign.

On The Pirates
>> East Carolina enters Wednesday's game with an overall record of 13-9 and 4-5 in C-USA games.  The Pirates are coming off a 83-73 loss at UCF.

>> Since the last meeting between UAB and ECU, the Pirates have lost three of four games, with the lone victory coming at Rice, 79-63, on Feb. 2.

>> ECU boasts an offense that ranks second in the league in points per game, averaging 77 per contest.  Maurice Kemp tops C-USA in scoring average, pouring in 18.1 per game.  Kemp is shooting an even 50 percent from the floor and averaging 8.0 rebounds a game.

>> The Pirates also feature one of the top point guards in the league in Miguel Paul.  The senior is averaging 12.9 points and dishing out 5.6 assists a game.  In the last meeting, Paul recorded 14 assists.

Another Pirate to keep an eye on is Robert Sampson, who nearly averages a double-double with 9.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

>> ECU plays unselfish basketball, leading the conference in assists per game, 17.1, which ranks eighth nationally.

>> For the season, ECU is shooting 44.8 percent from the floor, 32.8 percent from 3-point range and 69.4 percent from the foul line.

Last Meeting: ECU 91, UAB 85 (1/23)
UAB took a C-USA best 80 shots, 22 more than East Carolina, but the Pirates had six players score in double figures and shot 55.2 percent as a team.  ECU made 10 of 17 3-pointers and out-shot the Blazers at the foul line, 17 of 23 to 4 of 6.

Trends Since Last Meeting
Since falling to East Carolina at home back on Jan. 23, the Blazers have gone 3-2 with the two losses coming by five points at Houston (66-61) and four points at home to Southern Miss (79-75).

On the contrary, the Pirates have gone in the opposite direction, falling in three of their four games with the lone victory coming at Rice, 79-63.

Perfect In Minges
UAB is a perfect 6-0 all-time on ECU's home court, Minges Coliseum, winning by an average of 9.7 points per meeting. Overall, the Blazers are 12-4 against the Pirates, but ECU has captured three of the last four match ups -- two coming at Bartow Arena and the other at the 2010-11 C-USA Tournament in El Paso, Texas.

Bombs Away vs. Pirates
In UAB's 91-85 loss back on Jan. 23 to East Carolina in Bartow Arena, the two teams combined for 176 points -- the highest total in a league game this season.

In addition, the 80 field goal attempts by UAB marked the second most amongst all C-USA teams this season and most in a conference contest.  Southern Miss fired up 90 shots in a 135-41 victory over Dillard on Jan. 3.

Top Two Assist Squads Square Off
ECU and UAB not only rank No. 1 and No.2 in C-USA in assists per game, but also rank eighth and 10th in the nation in that respective statistic.  The Pirates record 17.1 helpers a game, with the Blazers not far behind at 16.7.

In the last meeting, the two teams combined for 44 assists, 22 by each offense.

Draining Shots From Downtown
UAB has started to heat up from 3-point range recently, making at least nine treys in each of the last three contests and shooting 46.2 percent (30-65) during that span.

The Blazers, which did not make a 3-pointer in each of their first two league games, shot a season-best 56.3 percent (9-16) from downtown in a victory over Marshall (2/9).

Taking Advantage Of Free Throws
Preston Purifoy has been nearly perfect at the foul line this season, making 91.2 percent of his attempts (52 of 57).  At one point this season, Purifoy strung together a streak of 30 consecutive free throws made overall and at home is 37 for 39 at the line.

Teammate Jordan Swing has also shot well on free throws, making 63 of 77 attempts (81.8 percent) this season.

Here is a look at where Purifoy and Swing stack up in the UAB and Conference USA record books.

UAB Single Season (min. 50 made)
1. Preston Purifoy ('12-'13) -- 91.2% (52-57)
2. Andy Kennedy ('89-'90) -- 90.2% (111-123)
3. Reginald Turner ('88-'89) -- 86.8% (118-136)

UAB Career (min. 100 made)
1. Andy Kennedy ('88-'91) -- 87.2% (401-460)
2. Robert Vaden ('07-'09) -- 86.3% (113-131)
3. Preston Purifoy ('10- -- 85.5% (118-138)
4. Jordan Swing ('11- -- 83.2% (134-161)
5. Eric Batchelor ('00-'02) -- 83.1% (138-166)

2012-13 C-USA Overall
1. Preston Purifoy, UAB -- 91.2% (52-57)
2. Joseph Young, Houston -- 90.0% (81-90)
3. Miguel Paul, ECU -- 86.9% (86-99)
4. Jordan Swing, UAB -- 81.8% (63-77)
5. Ryan Maneul, SMU -- 81.1% (137-169)

C-USA Single Season
1. Zamal Nixon, Houston ('10-'11)    92.2% (94-102)
2. Steve Novak, Marquette ('03-'04)    91.2% (62-68)
3. Preston Purifoy, UAB ('12-'13)    91.2% (52-57)
4. Drake Diener, DePaul ('04-'05)    90.9% (70-77)
5. Jobey Thomas, Charlotte ('00-'01)    90.9% (80-88)

Rucker Double-Doubling In First Season
In his first season with UAB, junior Rod Rucker has posted a team-best nine double-doubles, which is tied for the second most in Conference USA this season.  Most recently, Rucker scored 18 points and grabbed 10 boards in a victory over Marshall (2/9).

1. Josh Davis, Tulane -- 13
T2. Rod Rucker, UAB -- 9
T2. TaShawn Thomas, Houston -- 9
4. Keith Clanton, UCF -- 8