BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Sometimes games are not totally decided by the 10 on the court.
Sometimes other factors come into play.
Despite what the home fans may think, the men in black and white were just as tough on both teams with Auburn committing 25 personal fouls and UAB 23.
Both Auburn’s Horace Spencer and UAB’s Chris Cokley fouled out leading to only 16 and 17 minutes played from each respectively.
However, it was the loss of UAB’s leading scorer Chris Cokley that would prove to be most detrimental resulting in him scoring just 8 points during that limited time.
Emotions were off the charts for all in attendance, but none more than the junior forward.
Cokley played with incredible energy and determination but found himself overwhelmed by the touchy calls from the referees and Horace Spencer’s relentless defense.
As usual, the early spark plug and reoccurring bright spot for UAB was senior Tyler Madison.
He was electric.
I’d imagine if you polled the UAB fans at half they’d mostly feel optimistic given the Blazers sustained first half lead with Cokley and Lee playing a combined 18 minutes.
Unfortunately, the pace of the game turned choppy early in the second half due to frustrating foul calls and offensive shortcomings for the Blazers.
The Tiger’s capitalized quickly and their offense exploded in the first part of the second half. Auburn outscored UAB 24-12 in the first 10 minutes and never looked back.
The Week Ahead
UAB has failed to beat a top 100 team this season.
Wednesday at Stephen F. Austin won’t be an opportunity to do so, but it will nevertheless bring on a monumental challenge.
While UAB was putting together their impressive home win streak over the last few years, the Lumberjacks were doing the same.
This Stephen F. Austin team is far from what it was a season ago when the Blazers had to mount a huge comeback to defeat them at Bartow. This isn’t the team that was a tip-in shot of Notre Dame’s away from the Sweet 16. We’ll break down their roster more in the coming days.
Following the trip to Nacogdoches, Texas on Wednesday, UAB will trek up to a familiar foe in Memphis who’ve they’ve met on the hardwood 46 times since 1984.
The Blazers have many more opportunities to continue to gel in their new roles and potentially bring home wins against top teams.
Wins over Stephen F. Austin, Memphis, and Texas could do a lot for fan morale and team confidence going into conference play.
Photos of the Night