It was back-and-forth throughout the overtime period, and with 26 seconds left the Monarchs took a 1 point lead at 71-70. Coming back down the court William Lee threw up a three-pointer that rimmed out and right into the hands of Nick Norton who put it back in to give UAB the lead for good!
The Blazers (14-3, 4-0) 72-71 overtime win against Old Dominion (9-8, 2-2) gives them their 11th straight win a row, and ends ODU’s 32 game win streak at home.
The game got off to a slow start as it was just 5-4 at the first media timeout, but a three-pointer by Dirk Williams at the 13:38 mark gave UAB a 7-5 lead.
After a couple of threes by William Lee the Blazers extended their lead to 18-12 at the 10:52 mark. ODU cut the lead to 4 points by the under eight timeout, but UAB extended it to eight as it was 29-22 at the 3:39 mark.
At halftime the Blazers were up 33-25 as Lee pumped in 11 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. Robert Brown was second in scoring at the half with 7 points, while Chris Cokley and Nick Norton were both held without a point in the first 20 minutes.
UAB shot 46 percent from the field in the first half compared to ODU’s 30 percent. Both teams struggled from the free throw line as UAB was just 4-of-11, while ODU was 3-of-8. The Blazers were much better from three-point range in the first half hitting 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.
The game remained steady through the first four-plus minutes of the second half as UAB was up 37-30 at the under 16 timeout. UAB took their biggest lead of the night after a Lewis Sullivan layup that put the Blazers up nine at the 14:52 mark. An old fashioned three-point play by Robert Brown put UAB up 42-32 a little over a minute later.
The Blazers got into some foul trouble and allowed the Monarchs to get back in the game at the charity stripe as it was 42-35 at the 11:55 mark. ODU got back within five points, and at the under eight timeout they were up 47-41.
Lee’s third three-pointer of the night at the 6:15 mark gave UAB its next largest lead of the night at 11, but a 6-0 run by the Monarchs caused UAB head coach Jerod Haase to call a timeout to settle his team down.
That run continued after the timeout as the lead was cut to 3 points at the last media timeout. A bucket and a foul tied the game at 53-53 with three minutes left in the game.
A 13-0 run gave ODU a two point lead with 2:23 left, but a steal by Norton led to a Hakeem Baxter layup to tie it back up at 55. After a great defensive possession that ended in a shot clock violation, a Robert Brown jumper with 52 second left to go gave UAB the lead.
ODU didn’t give up though, and yet another second chance shot tied the game up with 21 seconds left. The Blazers got the last shot in regulation, but Brown’s jumper fell short and we headed to overtime.
The two teams exchanged baskets and it was 61-61 at the 2:34 mark in overtime before Norton put in a pair of free throws to give UAB their first lead in overtime (it was also Norton’s first points of the game). An ODU three-pointer helped the Monarchs reclaim the lead. A Tosin Mehinti free throw tied the game back up at 64 with 1:55 to play.
ODU got another bucket to take the lead back, but Lee’s fourth three-pointer of the night gave UAB a one point lead. The Monarchs stayed hot as they hit a three of their own to take the lead back, but Lee answered right back with another three giving the Blazers the lead again.
ODU regained the lead by one with 26 second left, but that would be their last lead of the game as Norton won it with the putback.
Lee finished with a career high 28 points, including 10 of UAB’s 15 points in overtime. Robert Brown chipped in with 14 points, and no other Blazer finished in double-digit points.
UAB played well for three-fourths of this game, but turnovers and issues at the foul line kept this from being a blowout for the Blazers. They also gave up a ton of second chance opportunities as ODU had 22 offensive rebounds, but the Monarchs never led by more than 2 points.
Cokley and Norton combined for just 6 points – with Norton’s four points coming in overtime. As a team the Blazers were just 13-of-23 from the free throw line. They were out rebounded 47 to 35, they turned the ball over 16 times, and they finished with 23 fouls to ODU’s 19.
Despite all that, the Blazers stayed focus and came out with a huge win on the road. It may not have been the prettiest of wins, but this is one that will help this team get even better in the future.