When it comes to college basketball, survive and advance are generally reserved for March.

In UAB’s case, though, Thursday’s double overtime win over UTEP came with that sort of feeling afterward. The Blazers didn’t play well, for the most part, but they found a way to win and remain undefeated at Bartow Arena. More importantly, the Blazers remained unbeaten in the early stages of Conference USA play.

Now it’s time to move forward. UAB plays host to UTSA on Saturday, with tip-off coming at 3 p.m. at Bartow Arena.

The Roadrunners are 6-7 overall and 0-2 in conference play. They have lost four of the past five games and six of the past eight. On Thursday, they dropped a 91-69 decision to Louisiana Tech.

UAB went to work on some deficiencies that showed up on Thursday. But the Blazers do so with an 11-2 overall record.

Perhaps the biggest area that needs work, at least from a long-term perspective, for the Blazers is on the defensive end.

“I’ve talked about it and talked about it and talked about it. We have got to be able to sit down and keep that bounce in front of us,” Kennedy said. “Or I’m going to have to make some real changes.”

UTSA point guard Japhet Medor is the team leader with 12 points and 4.2 assists per game. UAB needs to keep him out of the paint. Redshirt sophomore John Buggs II averages 10.6 points per game and is the team leader with 33 3-pointers. DJ Richards has 28 3-pointers for a team that is fifth in the conference with 8.23 3-pointers per game.

The Roadrunners also have an inside presence with 6-foot-11, 238-pound Jacob Germany, who has started 73 games at UTSA. He’s averaging 11.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while shooting 47.1 percent from the field.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email steve.irvine@1819news.com.

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