NOTEBOOK: UAB Takes Down Rutgers In Bartow Classic

Senior Rod Rucker finished with 15 points on Monday. He was one of four Blazers in double figures.

Nov. 11, 2013

By Steve Irvine,

Balance was the key for UAB on Monday night in the Blazers’ 79-76 win over Rutgers in the Bartow Classic at Bartow Arena.

Chad Frazier, Fahro Alihodzic, C.J. Washington and Rod Rucker scored in double digits for the Blazers while Jordan Swing and Rob Williams each added eight points. Washington had a game-high 18 points, Rucker had 15 points and Alihodzic and Frazier each chipped in 14 points.

Perhaps even more impressive, the Blazers had three players with double-doubles. Rucker and Alihodzic tied for game-high honors with 12 rebound apiece and Washington had 10 rebounds. It was the first time that UAB had three players record a double-double in the same game since Jamarr Sanders, Cameron Moore and Ovie Soko did it during a win at Troy on Nov. 29, 2010.

UAB head coach Jerod Haase loved the balance on Monday night but something else gave him a bigger smile.

 “The best part about the whole thing too is you go into that locker room afterward, everybody whether they played no minutes or 36 minutes, the attitudes are all the same,” Haase said. “It’s just about how UAB did. I can’t tell you how much I love the chemistry on the team and how guys have really bought in to making sure we do well.”



 *Jordan Swing gave UAB a spark with two key 3-pointers in the second half. But he had to watch the final 5:28 after picking up his third and fourth fouls in 19 seconds. The Blazers trailed, 67-64, when Swing left the game but still won the game down the stretch.

 “There will be games that Jordan will be making those plays down the stretch and someone else will be on the bench cheering him on,” Haase said.

*UAB’s starting lineup was identical to the Blazers’ season-opening win over Columbus State. The starting lineup consisted of Chad Frazier, Jordan Swing, Fahro Alihodzic, C.J. Washington and Rod Rucker.

*Preston Purifoy played just three first-half minutes for the Blazers. Purifoy hurt his thumb in Friday’s win over Columbus State

“His thumb is bothering him some,” Haase said. “Also I thought Rob Williams was really giving us a boost in many ways, obviously on the boards and defensively as well. There is going to be an ebb and flow in some guys minutes this year. In some ways I’d like to be picture perfect but there is a gut feeling. I do think is thumb is bothering him.”

*Rutgers made 15 of its first 16 shots in last season’s home win over the Blazers. On Monday, though, Rutgers missed 12 of its first 18 shots.

“Going in we felt like that was a key,” said senior Robert Williams about avoiding the early deficit once again.