UAB (15-10) at Marshall (9-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cam Henderson Center (9,043) -- Huntington, West Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: UAB 12-3, MU 7-5. Away Record: UAB 2-5, MU 2-11. Neutral Record: UAB 1-2, MU 0-1. Conference Record: UAB 4-7, MU 3-8. Series Record: UAB leads, 13-6.
GAME NOTES: The UAB Blazers will begin their final road trip of the season on Thursday as they take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in a Conference USA matchup at the Cam Henderson Center.
Coach Jerod Haase's Blazers are coming off an 86-80 home loss to Tulane, which marked their fourth setback in five outings. UAB's recent slump has dropped it to a 15-10 overall record, including a disappointing 4-7 C-USA ledger. The Blazers have finished with 50 rebounds or more in eight contests this season and are ranked second nationally with 45.3 rpg. UAB managed to outrebound Tulane, 42-38, but also allowed the Green Wave to convert a season-best 56.9 percent of their shots from the floor.
Marshall snapped a three-game skid on Saturday and picked up just its second road win of the campaign as it edged Charlotte, 59-56, at Halton Arena. Coach Tom Herrion's team has been torched by the opposition throughout the season, allowing 73.6 ppg to rank second to last in the C-USA in scoring defense. The Thundering Herd stepped up their play on the defensive end their last time out as the 49ers were held to 35.5 percent efficiency from the floor and committed 15 turnovers. Although Marshall is 7-5 at the Cam Henderson Center, it is 1-3 versus league foes at home.
This will be the 20th meeting in history between UAB and Marshall. The Blazers have won the last three matchups to take a 13-6 all-time series lead.
In their loss to Tulane, the Blazers received another strong contribution in the scoring column from junior guard Chad Frazier, who tallied 21 points on 6- of-19 efficiency from the floor. Robert Williams recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while senior forward Rod Rucker posted 17 points and nine boards. Frazier is the second-leading scorer in the C-USA at 18.3 ppg to go along with 4.4 apg. Junior forward C.J. Washington is netting 14.1 ppg and is second on UAB on the glass with 7.1 rpg. Rucker has been consistent en route to averages of 11.4 ppg and 7.2 rpg.
Marshall's starting backcourt propelled the team to the decision over the 49ers. Freshman point guard Kareem Canty and junior Chris Thomas accounted for 39 of the Herd's points along with 16 of MU's 22 made field goals in the win. Freshman forward Ryan Taylor chipped in seven points and nine boards, while junior forward Cheikh Sane anchored the paint with three blocks and seven rebounds. In 19 of the team's 26 games this season, three or more members of the Herd have scored in double figures. Canty is usually included in that trio as he has been spectacular during his rookie campaign with team-leading averages of 16.2 ppg and 5.9 apg. Taylor (13.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Thomas (12.3 ppg) have both shown steady improvement as the season has progressed.
UAB has been one of the biggest disappointments in the C-USA. The Blazers are talented enough to be in contention for the regular season crown, but will be heading to Huntington just one game in front of the rebuilding Herd in the standings. Marshall's inexperience has been its biggest obstacle, but the homecourt advantage may help it to its first winning streak since November.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Marshall 70, UAB 67
02/20 10:18:42 ET