UCF (19-10) at UAB (15-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 6, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bartow Arena (8,500) -- Birmingham, Alabama. Television: CSS. Home Record: UCF 15-5, UAB 11-3. Away Record: UCF 4-5, UAB 4-9. Neutral Record: UCF 0-0, UAB 0-2. Conference Record: UCF 8-6, UAB 7-7. Series Record: UAB leads 7-4.
GAME NOTES: In a Conference-USA clash at the Bartow Arena, the UAB Blazers play host to the Knights of UCF on Wednesday night.
UCF most recently suffered a 76-67 loss to 19th-ranked Memphis which allowed the Tigers to clinch the conference. The loss ended a brief two-game win streak for the Knights who had previously lost three in a row. This is the first of a two-game road swing to end the regular season for UCF which will head to Southern Miss next.
The Blazers are fresh off a 75-69 win over SMU. The win was the fourth in a row for UAB which has won six of its last seven outings. This will be the second of a two-game homestand for the Blazers before heading to Memphis for the regular-season finale.
UAB leads the all-time series 7-4 but after the Blazers defeated UCF in the first seven matchups, UCF has won all four since, including three times last season. In the most recent matchup in early January of this season, the Knights took a 64-48 win in Orlando.
The Knights lost to Memphis despite a 29-point performance from Keith Clanton, who shot 10-of-15 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Calvin Newell had 13 points, five assists, and four steals but also had six turnovers. Kasey Wilson managed 11 points while Isaiah Sykes had 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
UCF is led by four players in double-figure scoring this season, including Sykes who scores 15.6 ppg with 7.3 rpg. Clanton adds 15.3 ppg and 8.6 rpg, while Tristan Spurlock manages 11.4 ppg and 5.8 rpg. Newell is the final Knight scoring in double figures at 11.2 ppg, as UCF's high-powered offense tallies 71.0 ppg and shoots over 45.0 percent from the field.
In the win over the Mustangs, Rod Rucker supplied a double-double performance for the Blazers with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Jordan Swing and Robert Williams managed 11 points each, while Fahro Alihodzic added 18 points and six rebounds. UAB earned a 35-25 edge on the boards and hit 21 free-throws en route to victory.
Rucker leads the squad in scoring this season with 14.4 ppg, while also leading in rebounding with 8.2 rpg. Swing adds 14.1 ppg and Alihodzic contributes 9.8 ppg, while all three players shoot better than 47-percent from the field. Offensively, the Blazers put up over 72.0 ppg but their poor defensive play has held them back this season as they allow 71.0 ppg. UAB is tough on the boards and pulls down 37 rpg as a unit.
The Blazers have been solid at home, going 11-3 in 14 games. With UAB getting hot to end the season, the Blazers should be able to squeak this one out in a close battle.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UAB 68, UCF 66
03/06 10:37:11 ET