UAB's Size Wears Down Midshipmen in 82-63 Setback
Brandon Venturini led Navy with 13 points in the loss to UAB.
Nov. 18, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- UAB outscored the Navy men's basketball team, 48-16, in the paint and handed the Midshipmen an 82-63 setback on Sunday afternoon in front of 3,851 fans at Bartow Arena.
The loss drops Navy to 2-2 overall, while UAB improved to 2-1 on the season.
Navy trailed just 27-22 with 6:11 to play in the first half on a Phil Guglielmo (Fr. / Springfield, Va.) three-pointer, but the Blazers went on an 18-3 run to end the half, including scoring the last 12 points of the stanza, to grab a 45-25 halftime lead.
Navy would get no closer than 15 points the rest of the way in falling to the Blazers.
UAB's two starting big men, Rod Rucker and Fahro Alihodzic, combined to go 14-of-20 from the field and score 32 points with 17 rebounds between them to help UAB dominate the paint.
"They really beat us up inside and physically it was really a challenge for us," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "We didn't have many answers. The first half they set the tone and it didn't get much better in the second half. I felt we were okay with the perimeter guys, but our interior defense was really porous and we couldn't keep them off the glass."
Navy would trail just 12-8 eight minutes into the game before the Blazers went on an 8-0 run for a 20-8 cushion with 9:05 to play in the opening half. Navy countered with a 14-7 run to cut the lead to five at 27-22, before UAB's big run before halftime gave the Blazers a 20-point cushion at intermission.
The Midshipmen would get to 15 points at 53-38 on a Thurgood Wynn (Jr. / Bethesda, Md.) free throw and Navy would have a chance to get closer, but a big five-point swing turned momentum back in UAB's favor.
Brandon Venturini (So. / Allendale, Mich.) had a steal and a breakaway layup attempt, but slipped while going up for the layup. UAB recovered the ball and hit a three-pointer in transition on its possession to push the lead to 61-42, instead of a 58-44 advantage with about 12 minutes left.
Navy would get no closer than 16 points after that.
Navy shot just 20-of-57 (.351) from the field, but went 7-of-18 (.389) from three-point range and 16-of-21 (.762) from the free throw line. Navy was just 13-of-39 (.333) from inside the three-point line, were outrebounded by a 47-27 margin and guilty of 19 turnovers.
UAB shot 33-of-66 (.500) from the field, 5-of-18 (.278) from three-point range and 11-of-14 (.786) from the free throw line. UAB had 15 offensive rebounds that resulted in 20 second-chance points and the Blazers scored 29 points off Navy's 19 turnovers. UAB was guilty of 16 turnovers.
Venturini led Navy with 13 points which included three three-pointers. Guglielmo added 12 points in just 18 minutes off the bench, while Tilman Dunbar (Fr. / Fairfax, Va.) tallied 12 points and dished out four assists.
"Phil made some baskets and that is what he does for us. We are trying to get him to do some other things, but we're trying to work him in there," added DeChellis. "We just need to get some more guys playing better.
Rucker tallied 16 points with 13 rebounds, and Alihodzic contributed 16 points and four rebounds. Both players were 7-of-10 from the field.
Navy will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday night for a matchup with the Horned Frogs of TCU, beginning at 7:00 PM (ET). The game will be televised by Fox Sports Southwest (In Annapolis; Verizon FIOS - 300; Comcast - 720) as well as broadcasted on the radio dial with Pete Medhurst on WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM), WFED (1500 AM) and SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Ch. 92).
# GO NAVY #