UAB Returns To Action Saturday At East Carolina

Over his last seven games, sophomore Preston Purifoy is averaging 12.9 points per game and has reached double figure scoring six times over the stretch..

Feb. 24, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB men's basketball team, playing for the only time this week after a bye date on Wednesday, will travel to Greenville, N.C. to take on East Carolina on Saturday night at 4 p.m. CT (5 p.m. ET).

The contest can be heard live on the Blazers Sports Network, 107.7 FM.

UAB and East Carolina will meet for the 15th time in series history and the second time this season on Saturday. ECU won the first meeting between the two teams, capturing a 73-66 win at Bartow Arena on Jan. 28. The Blazers own an 11-3 lead in the previous 14 contests; however, the Pirates have now captured two consecutive victories.

UAB comes into Saturday's contest owning a perfect 5-0 record over East Carolina in games played at Minges Coliseum. Last season in Greenville, N.C., the Blazers rallied from a double-digit deficit in the second half to defeat East Carolina 66-59 on Jan. 17, 2011.

Feb. 25, 2012 • 5 pm ET • Greenville, N.C. • Minges Coliseum (8,000)

UAB Game Notes vs. ECUGet Acrobat Reader | Gametracker | Watch

RADIO (Flagship: WUHT 107.7 FM): Blazer Sports Network
David Crane (play-by-play), Aaron Jordan (analyst) and Jon Gentile (Engineer)

About UAB
• UAB (12-14, 7-6) won for the fifth time in six games when it defeated Tulane, 81-73, in Birmingham on Feb. 18. The Blazers had a bye this past Wednesday night. UAB was led by senior forward Cameron Moore's 25 points and 11 rebounds against the Green Wave, while sophomore Preston Purifoy added a career-high 19 points.
• Moore, the C-USA Preseason Player of the Year, enters the East Carolina contest leading UAB in scoring (16.1), rebounding (10.4) and blocked shots (2.6) a game. He ranks third in the league in scoring, is second in rebounding and leads the league in blocked shots. No C-USA player since Kenyon Martin has finished among the top two in the league in each of those categories.
• Moore, who is just the second Blazer to earn the preseason player of the year honor (Robert Vaden in 2008-09) also leads C-USA in rebounding (9.7 rpg) in league games only and is second in scoring (17.5 ppg) and blocked shots (1.9). Nationally, Moore ranks 13th in rebounds and 17th in blocks a game (as of 2/22).
• Sophomore guard Jordan Swing is second on the team with 11.1 points per game. Swing is second on the team and ranks sixth in C-USA in three-point shooting at 38.2 percent and is third in free throw shooting percentage (86.2). Additionally, he is averaging 2.2 treys per game and shooting 43.1 percent from deep in league contests only, which ranks third in the league.
• Junior forward Ovie Soko is fourth in scoring (7.9 ppg) and is second in rebounding (6.8 rpg). Soko ranks second on the team with six double-double contests on the year. In fact, Moore (11) and Soko (6) have combined for 17 double-doubles on the year.
• UAB head coach Mike Davis, the 2011 C-USA Coach of the Year, owns a record of 119-71 (.626) during his five-plus seasons at UAB. He has a career mark of 234-150 (.609), now in his 12th season as a head coach. He now owns a record of 60-33 (.645) in conference play.
• Last season, the Blazers finished with a 22-9 record and a 12-4 mark in conference play as UAB captured its first outright regular season Conference USA championship in school history. As a result, the Blazers received an at-large berth to the 2011 NCAA Tournament, marking their first appearance in the "Big Dance" since the 2006 campaign and the 14th NCAA Tournament showing in program history.

About East Carolina
• East Carolina (12-14, 3-10) comes into Saturday's contest having dropped four consecutive games, which followed a three-game win streak. Most recently, the Pirates fell at Memphis, 70-47, in Memphis, Tenn. Junior guard Miguel Paul led the Pirates with 20 points in the losing effort.
• As a team, the Pirates are shooting 43.2 percent from the floor and 34.0 percent from beyond the arc, while averaging 69.2 points per game. However, those numbers have fallen against conference competition. The Pirates are averaging 64.9 points a game against C-USA teams, while shooting 42.8 percent from the floor and 35.0 percent from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, ECU's 70.2 points ranks 11th in the league and the Pirates rank 12th in C-USA in field goal percentage defense (48.0 percent).
• Paul, a junior guard who transferred from Missouri, leads the Pirates with 15.9 points per game, ranking fourth in Conference USA. Paul leads the league and ranks 24th in the country with an average of 5.8 assists and tops his team in steals (1.4) and three pointers made (60) and attempted (161).
• Senior forward Darrius Morrow, who had 24 points and six boards when UAB and East Carolina met earlier this year, ranks second on the team in both scoring (13.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg). He leads the squad in blocked shots (1.2) and field goal percentage (54.4).
• Junior forward Maurice Kemp chips in with an average of 10.1 points and a team-best 6.3 rebounds a contest.
• Head coach Jeff Lebo is in his second season at the helm of the East Carolina program and is in his 13th season as a head coach. Lebo has a record of 30-30 (.500) while with the Pirates and has an overall mark of 241-186 (.562).

A Few Notes From Last Game
• UAB senior forward Cameron Moore scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as UAB defeated Tulane 81-73 on Feb. 18 at Bartow Arena.
• After leading 30-27 at halftime, the Blazers scored the first 14 points of the second half to go up 44-27 with 15:39 remaining.
• The Green Wave, however, refused to fold. With Pleasant Grove, Ala. native Ricky Tarrant scoring 29 of his 33 points in the second half, they came back to trail just 73-70 after Jay Hook's 3-pointer with 39 seconds remaining.
Preston Purifoy dunked to give UAB a five-point lead, and after Jordan Callahan missed a 3-pointer for Tulane, Tarrant fouled Moore, who made both free throws for a 77-70 lead with 17 seconds to play.
• Purifoy finished with 19 points and Jordan Swing 16 for the Blazers.
• Josh Davis added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Tulane. Tarrant's 33 points tied a season best for the freshman guard.

UAB-East Carolina: Earlier This Season
• UAB made a 17-point second-half deficit evaporate to a one-possession game with 28 seconds left, but the East Carolina Pirates went a perfect 6 of 6 from the foul line to escape Bartow Arena with a 73-66 victory on Jan. 28.
• UAB shot 50 percent (27-for-54) from the field, but it was the Pirates that fired at a blistering 59.5 clip for the game. ECU was on target even more so in the first half, draining 14 of 22 shots (63.6 percent) from the floor.
• The Blazers, which trailed 36-26 at the half, fell behind as much 17 after intermission when Darrius Morrow sank a jumper with 9:30 left.
• UAB was able to buckle down on defense and utilized a 25-11 run to pull within a possession, 67-64, with 28 seconds left, but could get no closer.
• A balanced attack for UAB, featured four players in double figures, led by Preston Purifoy's 17 points. Cameron Moore posted a double-double of the year, with 14 points to go along with a game-high 13 boards.
• ECU was paced by Morrow's game-high 24 points making 11 of 15 shots, adding six rebounds and three assists to his stat line.
• Despite the strong shooting from both clubs, it was the foul line that proved to be the difference. ECU went to the line 21 times, knocking down 16 tries (76.2 percent), but UAB was only able to attempt three for the game.

UAB-East Carolina: The Series
• UAB and East Carolina will meet for the 15th time in series history on Saturday. The Blazers own an 11-3 lead in the previous 14 contests; however, the Pirates have now captured two consecutive victories.
• Before its current losing streak to East Carolina, the Blazers had won seven consecutive games over the Pirates.
• UAB comes into Saturday's contest owning a perfect 5-0 record over East Carolina in games played at Minges Coliseum. Last season in Greenville, N.C., the Blazers rallied from a double-digit deficit in the second half to defeat East Carolina 66-59 on Jan. 17, 2011.

Fun Times In February
• The UAB men's basketball team has been playing some of its best basketball in the month of February.
• The Blazers own a record of 5-1 in February thus far, with the lone loss coming to league-leading Memphis at the FedExForum (Feb. 11).
• Below is a breakdown of the numbers by UAB and the opposition during the six-game stretch.
FG% 3-pt FG% Reb. Pts.
UAB .435 .387 34.7 64.2
Opponents .407 .342 29.7 61.7

Unbeaten Against C-USA Single-Game C-Opponents
• The Blazers have six opponents on their conference slate that they will meet only once in league play, five of which they have played this season already.
• Against those teams, UAB owns a record of 5-0, with three of those victories coming on the road (at SMU, at Rice and at UTEP) and two at home (Houston and Tulane). That could bode well for the Blazers should their seeding for the conference tournament come down to a tie breaker.
• The only other single-game opponent the Blazers will face is in their next game on Wednesday night at home against Tulsa.

Road Warriors
• After getting off to a 0-3 start in league play, the Blazers have rebounded nicely with wins in seven of their last 10 games. That includes a record of 4-1 in the five road games over the 10-game span.
• During the Mike Davis era, the Blazers have played well in road C-USA contests. Including a 4-2 record this season, over the last five years, the Blazers own a record of 25-13 (.658) in conference road contests, which includes a mark of 16-6 (.727) over the past three season alone.

He's Been Purific!
• Sophomore guard Preston Purifoy has been playing extremely well over his last seven games, which is a big reason why the Blazers have a record of 5-2 over the span.
• During the seven-game stretch, Purifoy is averaging 12.9 points per game and has reached double figure scoring in six of the seven contests. He is also shooting 44.9 percent from three-point range (22-of-49) and 49.2 percent (30-of-61) from the floor.

Countdown To 1,000-Point Club
• With three regular season contests remaining, UAB senior Cameron Moore has a chance to become the 20th Blazer to reach 1,000 points in his career.
• Moore currently has 980 points and is 20 points shy of joining the elite group. He needs to average 6.7 points a game to reach the achievement by the end of the regular season.
• Should he record 20 points and seven rebounds, Moore would become just the third player in UAB program history to record 1,000 points and 700 rebounds in his career (Lawrence Kinnard and Jerome Mincy).

History Repeats Itself
• With a season-low four points in the Blazers' loss at Memphis on Feb. 11, senior forward Cameron Moore recorded just his third single-digit game of the season. However, as predicted, Moore responded over his next couple of games.
• Since his single-digit output, Moore has recorded back-to-back double-doubles and averaged 18.5 points and 11.0 rebounds.
• The same thing happened after each of his other single-point outputs in a game this season. In the two games following each of his previous single-digit performances (six games total), the San Antonio, Texas native is averaging 18.5 points and 15.0 rebounds a game.
• More importantly, UAB is now 5-1 in those contests.

Mr. Double-Double
• Senior Cameron Moore has recorded a double-double in six of his last seven contests and eight of his last 10 games coming into the East Carolina matchup on Saturday.
• Over the 10-game stretch, Moore is averaging an impressive 17.3 points and 10.6 rebounds a game.
• Moore has 12 double-doubles this season which is good for second in Conference USA. He now has 26 double-doubles in his career, which places him in second overall on the program's all-time list.
• Carlos Williams is the school's all-time leader in double-doubles with 35 throughout his career.

Historic Game For Blazers' D
• The contest at SMU on Feb. 15 set all kinds of records for offensive futility in the 47-28 Blazer victory.
• The 28 points scored by the Mustangs were the lowest ever scored by any C-USA team, topping the 36 points scored by UAB against Southern Miss (1/12/02). It also marked the second-fewest points the Blazers have allowed in program history, only bettered by the 27 points they allowed to Samford on Feb. 23, 1982.
• The 17.4 percent SMU shot from the floor is the lowest field goal percentage any team in conference play and the poorest any NCAA Division I team has shot this season. • SMU finished with more free throws (nine) than it had field goals (eight). The Mustangs were 8-of-46 from the field overall and 3-of-29 on 3-pointers.
• UAB led 17-12 at halftime and the combined 29 points were one point shy of tying the NCAA mark for fewest points in a half since 1986.
• SMU's total was the second-lowest of the season for any Division I program, after Towson and Arkansas State put up a mere 27 versus Drexel and Louisville, respectively.

Making His Case
• All season, Cameron Moore has been showing why he was chosen as the C-USA Preseason Player of the Year. But he has stepped his game up even more during C-USA play.
• Against league competition, Moore tops C-USA in rebounding (9.7 rpg), is second in scoring (17.5 ppg) and blocked shots (1.9 bpg) and eighth in field goal percentage (.506).
• For the year, Moore leads C-USA in blocked shots (2.6), is second in rebounds (10.4) and third in scoring (16.1). No C-USA player has finished among the top two in all three of those categories since Cincinnati's Kenyon Martin in 1999-2000.