Staying hot is the goal for the UAB men's basketball team when they play their final home game of the season on Thursday. It hasn't always been pretty, but the Blazers have found ways to win and move up in the Conference USA standings over the past few weeks.
"If we win Thursday, we are guaranteed a bye (in the C-USA Tournament)," UAB head coach Andy Kennedy said on his Blazer Sportsline appearance earlier this week. "We could still lose all three and back into it. That is not the plan. The plan is to try to continue to win. Let's roll this three-game win streak to a six-game streak. Let's roll 7 of 8 to 10 of 11. Let's stay hot, go into Frisco and shoot our shot."
Rice will be on the other bench on Thursday night, with tip-off scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The Blazers led from start to finish in a 70-52 victory at Rice on January 28. The Blazers scored the first seven points of that game and allowed just 15 first-half points.
He'd take it, but Kennedy doesn't expect the same type of game.
UAB did a nice job of neutralizing 6-foot-11 center Max Fiedler, who had eight points, 12 rebounds and five assists in the loss. Most of his output came after halftime. Fiedler currently leads C-USA in assists (5.1 per game), field goal percentage (72%), rebounds (8.1 per game) and offensive rebounds (3.19 per game).
Thursday's game also features the top two scorers in the conference. UAB's Jordan "Jelly" Walker leads the conference with 22.64 points per game, and Quincy Olivari averages 19.93 per game. Walker has a C-USA-best 93 3-pointers, and Olivari is third with 77.
Six UAB seniors will be honored in Senior Night festivities. Walker, Tavin Lovan, KJ Buffen, Trey Jemison, Ledarrius Brewer and Ty Brewer are UAB's seniors. Lovan is the only one of the group who has played his entire college career at UAB.
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