UAB (8-6) at Dayton (9-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 5, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UD Arena (13,435) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: WHIO. Home Record: UAB 7-0, Dayton 6-2. Away Record: UAB 1-4, Dayton 1-1. Neutral Record: UAB 0-2, Dayton 2-1. Conference Record: UAB 0-0, Dayton 0-0. Series Record: UAB leads 5-0.
GAME NOTES: In a non-conference battle at UD Arena, the UAB Blazers look to win their fourth straight contest as they take on the Dayton Flyers on Saturday evening.
In their last outing, UAB took down Georgia Southern, 65-61, on Wednesday night in Bartow Arena in Birmingham. In the victory, Terence Jones recorded a season-high 19 points, including the 1,000th point of his collegiate career.
Dayton enters the game 9-4, but has lost two of its last three. Mostly recently, Dayton suffered a two-point overtime loss at USC, 63-61, back on Dec. 30. The Flyers rallied to force overtime on a last-second bucket in regulation, but fell just short when Kevin Dillard's 20-footer at the buzzer was wide left. Devin Oliver recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Dillard scored 11 of his team-high 13 points at the free-throw line. The Flyers were just 2-of-14 from 3-point range and committed 17 turnovers, but did set a season-high with 13 steals, four coming from Josh Benson.
UAB has won all five matchups in the series. The Blazers and Flyers met five times from 1992 to 1995. The last time these squads faced each other, a UAB 57-55 victory back on March 2, 1995, both were members of the Great Midwest Conference.
UAB ranks third in Conference USA in scoring, averaging 77.1 points per game. The Blazers also rank second in the league in assists with 17.2 per outing and third in steals at 9.6 per game. Leading the way for the Blazers has been junior Jordan Swing, who ranks ninth in scoring in C-USA, posting 14.9 points per game. Also averaging in double figures are Rod Rucker (13.6 points per game) and Terence Jones (10.4). UAB also sports three of the top seven individual free-throw shooters in C-USA. As a team, the Blazers rank second in the conference in overall free-throw shooting percentage at 75.0 percent. Preston Purifoy tops the conference in that regard at 94.9 percent, followed by Fahro Alihodzic (84.2/6th) and Swing (84.0/7th).
The Flyers are 6-2 at home this season, while averaging 71.9 points per game and forcing 19.5 turnovers. On the year, four Flyers are scoring in double figures. Dillard, a Bob Cousy Award Watchlist selection, leads Dayton in scoring at 15.1 per game, assists at 4.5 per game, 3-pointers made (21), free throws made (57) and steals (18). He has scored in double figures in all but one game this year. Vee Sanford is second on the Flyers averaging 12.4 points per game, while Benson averages 11.0 points. Oliver (10.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg) leads the Atlantic 10 in rebounding and has scored in double figures in the eight of the last 11 games. In Dayton�s nine wins, the Flyers are shooting .501 from the field. In the four losses, the field goal percentage drops to .380.
These are a pair of evenly matched programs. Given that, look to the Blazers' balanced attack and their prowess at the free-throw line to tilt the contest their way and allow them to remain undefeated against the Flyers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UAB 72, Dayton 67
01/05 10:39:17 ET