The euphoria of a potential game-winning jumper by Ty Brewer ended after a video review correctly ruled that the shot was a fraction of a second late. Instead, the Blazers suffered their fourth one-possession loss in the past five games as Middle Tennessee escaped with a 74-73 Conference USA victory in overtime over the Blazers on Monday night at the Murphy Center.

“Disappointed,” said UAB head coach Andy Kennedy on his postgame radio appearance with David Crane. “That’s four games, can you believe that? Four games where we just don’t make the plays. Ultimately, we’re not making the plays.”

A couple of whistles – or non-whistles – in the closing seconds also played a factor. UAB’s Trey Jemison (18 points, 11 rebounds two blocks) was going up for a dunk when Eli Lawrence attempted to make a block from behind. No foul was called and Middle Tennessee gained possession trailing, 73-72, with about 30 seconds remaining. Replays showed that Lawrence hit Jemison on the arm.

“I’ll watch the tape on the long ride home,” Kennedy said. “When you play in this league on a Monday, you get quality officials. We had quality officials. Obviously, we’re all looking through it with green and gold lenses. Jamie Luckie has worked multiple Final Fours, says, ‘Hey man, it’s all ball.’ What do you say?”

On the other end, after working the clock down, Deandre Dishman was fouled by Jemison on a drive to the basket. Dishman, who entered the game shooting 52.1% from the line, made both to give Middle Tennessee a 74-73 lead with 10 seconds left.

UAB (13-6 overall, 4-4 C-USA) hustled the ball to midcourt and called a timeout with 7.9 seconds remaining. After the timeout, Eric Gaines (15 points, five rebounds) took the inbounds near midcourt, worked his way to the right of the free throw line and dished to an open Brewer in the middle. The clutch shot wasn’t rewarded because it was a touch late.

“Our fight was tremendous,” Kennedy said.

Once again, the Blazers were without C-USA leading scorer Jordan ‘Jelly’ Walker, who missed his second consecutive game with a foot injury. They also were hurt by first half foul trouble, partly because Gaines and KJ Buffen were whistled for technicals. Gaines’ technical came early in the game while Buffen drew his second foul followed by the technical late in the half. In both cases, the Blue Raiders made both free throw attempts for the technical.

“We are the most emotionally unstable team I have ever been a part of in my 30 years of doing this,” said Kennedy, whose team shot 32% from the field. “We talk about these things daily. When them lights come on, man, we start running our mouths and just doing things, it’s not what I want UAB to represent. So, we spot them four points, we lose by one.”

Through it all, the Blazers kept fighting. The teams were tied at 31 at halftime but UAB played from behind nearly the entire second half. Middle Tennessee (11-7 overall, 4-3 C-USA) never led by more than six points but they still had the lead.

Jemison hit a pair of free throws with 55 seconds left to trim the deficit to 66-64. It stayed that way until Gaines was fouled with five seconds left after a huge steal by Tony Toney on a backcourt inbound play. Gaines made both free throws and the teams headed to overtime.

UAB opened overtime with a 3-pointer by Gaines and a layup by Jemison. The only time that UAB trailed in overtime was when Dishman hit the game-winning free throws.

UAB outrebounded Middle Tennessee, 54-41, overall and 27-9 on offensive rebounds. UAB had more second chance points (21-14), points in the paint (40-28) and points off turnovers (22-10).

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