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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - UAB's 81-69 win over Troy was somewhat of a mixed bag, though with more positives for the Blazers than negatives.
The Blazers shot 50 percent from the field and shot 16-of-17 from the free throw line. UAB outrebounded Troy 54-23. UAB is now 7-0 all-time against Troy.
UAB also had 20 turnovers to Troy's seven and let an early 20-point first-half lead turn into six.
UAB Coach Jerod Haase signals his team during a NCAA basketball game against Troy at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. (Mark Almondfirstname.lastname@example.org)
Certainly, there's a lot to work on before next Thursday's 2 p.m. matchup with No. 21 New Mexico in the Charleston Classic.
"You can't just turn it on and off," UAB head coach Jerod Haase said. "Hopefully our guys learned that lesson during this game."
Here are 3 points from the game:
1. Robert Williams was again very good off the bench. He was on the floor at the end of the game, keeping Troy from making it closer than it was. Williams had 12 points and eight rebounds. Against Rutgers, he was on the end in place of Jordan Swing after Swing got his fourth foul. Against Troy, he subbed for Fahro Alihodzic because Troy had a smaller lineup.
"He's unbelievable," Haase said. "He's the team captain. After one of the games, exhibition, I'm not sure, he didn't play as much but he came to me and said, 'Coach whatever you need me to do, I'm all in.' Right now he's playing great, so at the end of the game, I'm putting him in.
"The attitude of the team needs to be that and I think it is. When you're on the bench, you're going to work your tail off to get in more, but if you're on the bench, you're going to be cheering your teammates on knowing that the only thing UAB does is what matters."
Speaking of the bench, did you see Tyler Madison get in for just one first-half minute, battle for an offensive rebound and score? He looked like a combo of Williams and Rod Rucker. Certainly, those two guys' intensity rubs off on the freshman, though it's likely he had that trait when he arrived.
2. Too many turnovers. UAB had 20 of them, and that's a big reason Troy got back in the game. Starting point guard Chad Frazier had four, as did Alihodzic.
"The turnovers were a lack of effort and a lack of concentration," Haase said. "That's something we need to address."Troy's Hunter Williams drives around UAB's Chad Frazier during a NCAA basketball game at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. (Mark Almondemail@example.com)
3. Rebounds, rebounds, rebounds. We touched on it in the . UAB had 53, after coming into the game 10th nationally at 50.5 rebounds per game. This will be key for a team that may not be shooting the ball that well from outside, or may not even attempt too many outside shots.
"We added some real depth with C.J. (Washington)," Rob Williams said. "We're big all the way around. Chad (Frazier), he's 6-4, C.J., he's 6-8 and long. Foz (Alihodzic) gaining 25 pounds over the summer and we've got (Rod) Rucker averaged 8 rebounds last year and me who averaged six last year."
UAB's next opponent is ranked No. 21 in the Coaches poll and No. 22 in the Associated Press poll. New Mexico hammered Alabama A M 88-52 on Nov. 9 and the Lobos play Charleston Southern on Sunday.
"I feel like we didn't play up to our full potential," Williams said. "We got the job done, but it wasn't good enough. It felt like we had an ebb and flow to the game. We never really did get into a rhythm. We've got to go back and look at the film and correct that before we go to the next tournament.
"It was basically on the defensive end and our lack of energy. We came out real flat tonight and it was like that the whole game. It was never a moment when we had the energy and the momentum. It's like we were just out there and playing.
"A win is a win. We've got to accept the win."** Another note: UAB's Nov. 27 game against Florida A M, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, has been moved up from 7 p.m. to 1 p.m.
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