Texas-El Paso (11-7) at UAB (8-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 30, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bartow Arena (8,500) -- Birmingham, Alabama. Television: none. Home Record: UTEP 9-1, UAB 7-2. Away Record: UTEP 2-3, UAB 1-8. Neutral Record: UTEP 0-3, UAB 0-2. Conference Record: UTEP 4-1, UAB 0-5. Series Record: UAB leads, 7-6.
GAME NOTES: The UAB Blazers are still winless in Conference USA play but look to change that as they host the Texas-El Paso Miners Wednesday night at the Bartow Arena.
The Miners are coming off two consecutive wins. Most recently they earned a, 68-67, win over East Carolina thanks to a buzzer beating 3-pointer by McKenzie Moore. It was the fifth win in six tries for UTEP, which is now 4-1 in conference play.
UAB is coming off a 66-61 loss at Houston. It was the sixth consecutive loss for the Blazers and dropped them to 0-5 in conference play. This slump began on the tail end of a three-game winning streak.
UAB leads the all-time series 7-6 and took the last meeting by a margin of one point in a 61-60 battle last February. Josh Bohannon scored a career-high 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting with eight rebounds.
Moore scored 17 points with eight rebounds in the win over East Carolina, while Bohannon led the squad in scoring with 23 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks off the bench. Julian Washburn added 12 points and six rebounds. Washburn leads the Miners in scoring this season with 12.3 ppg. Although he leads the team in scoring he is just 3-of-30 from 3-point range this season and is shooting 41.4 percent from the field. Tucker (11.6 ppg) and Bohannon (11.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg) are both also averaging double figures, while Bohannon is shooting 58.6 percent from the field. The Miners have been most impressive defensively, holding opponents to 60.9 ppg and 41.2 percent shooting from the field. Outside of El-Paso, the Miners are just 2-6.
Jordan Swing managed 20 points and dished out seven assists in a losing effort against the Cougars. Terence Jones added 14 points, doing all of his scoring in the second half. Rod Rucker leads the Blazers in scoring with 13.8 ppg, shooting just under 50.0 percent from the floor, while leading them in rebounding as well (8.4 rpg). Swing adds 13.6 ppg and 6.0 rpg and Jones contributes 10.7 ppg. The UAB offense has been very solid this season and it is 12th in the nation 16.5 assists per game. Where the squad has deeply struggled is on the defensive end of the ball. They are the 309th ranked scoring defense in the nation, allowing opponents to score 73.2 ppg. Although they have had recent struggles, the Bartow Arena is where the Blazers have been most effective, earning seven of their eight season wins, while only losing two.
UTEP is one of the top teams in the conference but UAB has been solid at home this season, while the Miners have struggled away from their home court. The Blazers could earn their first league win if they are able to play even just decent defense, while shining on the offensive end.
Sports Network Projected Outcome: UAB 67, Texas-El Paso 64
01/30 10:35:12 ET