The Blazers (19-4, 9-1) beat the Panthers of FIU (11-12, 5-5) by a score of 74-69 at Bartow Arena Thursday night. This victory marked the Blazers 22nd consecutive home victory (school record) and keeps the Blazers atop of the Conference USA standings.
Florida International was led by Daviyon Draper in both rebounding and scoring with 16 points and 7 rebounds. FIU also accumulated 8 blocks, which is not surprising as they boast the nations leading shot blocker in Adrian Diaz. The Panthers shot 46 percent from both the floor and beyond the three-point line.
The Blazers were led in scoring by Nick Norton who dropped a cool 15 points. The Blazers leading rebounder was William Lee with 8 boards. UAB, or Blockingham, tallied a total of 6 blocks tonight. The Blazers shot 40 percent from the floor and 38 percent from beyond the three-point line.
UAB held multiple double-digit leads throughout the game, including a 17 point lead midway through the second half. But the Panthers kept fighting back and made it a game down the stretch getting within two points. Two key free throws by Dirk Williams and then a breakaway dunk helped seal the win for the Blazers.
UAB will play at home again on Saturday as they take on FAU at 7 p.m.
We played well again tonight. We started hot and ran with it for a while until we cooled off. FIU closed the gap several times, but it never phased the guys. They kept fighting and led the entire game. The sky is still the limit with this team, and sitting at 19-4 shows that they are a dangerous squad. The Blazers play the Owls of Florida Atlantic on Saturday, and I hope to see you there!
Its a great day to be a Blazer!