UAB rebounded from consecutive losses on Saturday with a much needed win against Rice. Rice may be at the bottom of the C-USA standings, but the Blazers had some problems in the first half. UAB played flat and seemed as though they really weren't ready for the Owls.
Poor shooting and a lack of defense contributed to a five point Rice advantage at the half. Heading into the locker room The Owls had a 31-26 lead over the number two team in Conference USA.
The final 20 minutes were much better to UAB than the opening 20. They got hot from the beyond the arc and ended up out-scoring Rice 50-34 in the second-half. UAB won the game 76-65. Aaron Johnson had a career-best 28 points followed by Jamarr Sanders with 18.
Leading the Rice Owls in scoring was Arsalan Kazemi with 15 points and Lawrence Ghoram with 13. In a rare statistic, Rice actually out-rebounded the Blazers 34 to 27. Complete statistics from the game can be found here.
This was an important game for UAB. It was more than just another win to improve their standing for the NCAA Tournament. After fighting through their toughest conference stretch and dropping two big games in a row, the Blazers needed a bit of a confidence boost. They got it with a double digit C-USA win. UAB will also get a bit of rest as they have a week off until they play Marshall at Bartow Arena on Saturday, February 13th.