After a quick 11-4 start by UAB, Tulsa came roaring back behind their low post play from Jerome Jordan and Steven Idlet to go on a 16-2 run to take an early 20-13 advantage.
UAB would not go away as they capitalized off some early Tulsa turnovers to make it a 31-29 game at the half. Guard Canning Toney led the Blazers with 10 points at the break. Tulsa had a more balanced scoring attack, led by guard Glenn Andrews' seven points, and center Jerome Jordan's six.
Tulsa put a little distance between them and UAB in the beginning of the second half, but senior guard Robert Vaden hit his first three-point shot of the game to bring the Blazers back to within four points with 15:27 remaining.
The game remained tight throughout as baskets were difficult to come by. The Blazers were able to tie the game with less than nine minutes remaining as Paul Delaney and Robert Vaden scored on back to back transition opportunities. Shortly after, Jerome Jordan connected on a pair of free throws and then Ray Reese canned a three-point shot to give Tulsa some much needed breathing room.
Reese was the main man for Tulsa down the stretch, as he scored 12 points in the second half and answered every time UAB made a run. Reese finished with 17 points on 6-11 shooting.
Both teams had very balanced scoring attacks, as Glenn Andrews, Ray Reese, and Jerome Jordan all scored in double figures, along with Ben Uzoh. Channing Toney, Robert Vaden, Lawrence Kinnard, and Paul Delaney scored 11, 12, 12, and 14 points respectively.
With Tulsa up by seven and just under two minutes remaining, UAB forced three consecutive turnovers and rallied back to cut the lead to just three points on a Paul Delaney breakaway dunk. After another turnover, Howard Crawford was fouled and connected on both free throws to slice the Tulsa lead to one at 64-63. Glenn Andrews then hit a short runner to put the Golden Hurricane up three with just 40 seconds remaining, and after a Lawrence Kinnard miss, Justin Hurtt and Ben Uzoh's free throws put the game on ice for Tulsa.
Tulsa will now have the monumental task of trying to upset Memphis in the Conference USA Championship game tomorrow at 11:30 EST.
Tulsa Holds On
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