Georgia Southern (6-7) at UAB (7-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 2, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bartow Arena (8,508) -- Birmingham, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: Georgia Southern 3-1, UAB 6-0. Away Record: Georgia Southern 2-5, UAB 1-4. Neutral Record: Georgia Southern 1-1, UAB 0-1. Conference Record: Georgia Southern 0-1, UAB 0-0. Series Record: UAB leads, 5-1.
GAMES NOTES: The UAB Blazers will look for their third straight win on Wednesday night when the Georgia Southern Eagles roll into Bartow Arena for a non-conference clash.
The Eagles have traded wins and losses over their last four games but are riding high after a 68-64 overtime victory over Georgia State last time out. Overall Georgia Southern is 6-7 this season. That has included just a 2-5 mark on the road. Georgia Southern will return home to face North Carolina A&T in its next game.
The Blazers routed Northeastern 83-63 in their last game to improve to 7-6 this season. The win also extended UAB's home winning streak which now stands at 10 games. The Blazers are 6-0 at Bartow Arena this year but will travel to face Dayton next.
The last time these teams met in 2007 Georgia Southern defeated the Blazers for the first time ever. UAB had won the previous five meetings.
The Eagles rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half against Georgia State and closed out regulation on a 10-0 run to force overtime. In the extra sessions the Eagles hit 5-of-6 attempts from the charity stripe and nailed 3-of-6 shots from the floor to pull out the victory.
Low-scoring affairs have been the norm for Georgia Southern which is putting in only 60.3 points per game on 43.0 percent shooting. The Eagles also rank near the bottom of the country in assists (10.1 pg) and rebounds (30.2 pg). On the defense end, the Eagles have managed more success by limiting foes to 63.4 points per game on 42.7 percent shooting. Of three players scoring in double figures, Eric Ferguson (14.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg) is the leader. The 6-foot-7 junior has scored in double figures in three straight games and had a season-high 24 points against Georgia State. Tre Bussey (10.6 ppg) and C.J. Reed (10.6 ppg) are also double-figure scorers, while Cleon Roberts (8.7 ppg) is the only other player above five points per game.
UAB hit on 52.7 percent of its shots from the floor and outscored Northeastern from 3-point range (21-15) and the free-throw line (18-12) on Saturday. The Blazers had four players in double figures in the game, led by Terence Jones and Preston Purifoy with 17 points each.
Unlike Georgia Southern, UAB has been a high-scoring team. The Blazers are the second-best scoring team in Conference USA (78.0 ppg) despite shooting at a modest 44.8 percent clip. Ball movement is the key as the Blazers are 10th in the nation in assists (17.4 per game). UAB is also a strong rebounding team (38.7 pg) but has not really been as effective on defense, surrendering 73.9 points per game. Jordan Swing (15.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is the top scorer on the roster and adds versatility with his size (6-foot-6) and his ability to shoot from beyond the arc (48.4 3P percentage). Rod Rucker (13.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg) is the lead rebounder, while four other players are scoring at least 8.6 points per game, including Purifoy (8.8 ppg) off the bench.
UAB has been unbeatable at home and that won't change here as the offensive firepower of the Blazers will be too much for the Eagles.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UAB 81, Georgia Southern 63
01/02 10:36:18 ET