templates/ArticleTopCenter.tmpl ULM and UAB Meet Thursday in Final Non-Conference Tilt - ULM Warhawks Athletics
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ULM and UAB Meet Thursday in Final Non-Conference Tilt
Courtesy: ulmwarhawks.com
Release: December 19, 2012
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Setting the Stage
ULM (1-6) at UAB (5-6)
Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012
Time 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Location Birmingham, Ala. | Bartow Arena (8,500)
TV/Live Video
Radio/Live Audio
105.3 (Monroe) | ulmwarhawks.com
Internet Live Stats | Twitter: @ULMWarhawks #WarhawkMBB
Game Info
Game Notes (PDF)

ULM meets UAB for just the second time in school history on Thursday at 7 p.m. inside Bartow Arena. It marks the final non-conference game of the season for the Warhawks, who dropped a 63-48 decision at Florida State on Monday. UAB is coming off an 88-79 defeat at Rutgers on Sunday. The game can be heard locally on KLIP 105.3 FM in Monroe or online at ulmwarhawks.com, with Nick White calling the action.

ULM put together one of its best performances of the season, but it was not enough as Florida State pulled away in the closing minutes for a 63-48 victory on Monday.

The difference in the game came at the free-throw line, where the Seminoles outscored the Warhawks 20-3. Florida State also dominated the points off turnovers category with a 30-13 advantage.

ULM pushed out to an early 16-9 advantage and led for much of the first half, but Florida State closed the half on a 21-9 run and scored the first five points of the second half to claim a 35-25 lead.

The Warhawks fought back in the second half behind some timely 3-pointers by sophomore guard Trent Mackey and trailed 47-40 with 7:56 remaining in the game before the Seminoles scored seven straight points to build its largest lead of the game.

Mackey finished with a career-high 22 points, including a career-best six 3-pointers in his home state against the Seminoles. The Tampa, Fla., native also had three assists and a career-high four steals in 39 minutes.

Junior forward Jayon James finished with six points, 12 rebounds and five assists against Florida State. James has now recorded double-digit rebounds in three straight games.

• Okaro White led the Seminoles with 19 points and 11 rebounds, including a 12-of-13 effort from the free-throw line. Aaron Thomas chipped in 17 points and Devon Bookert added 10 points, four assists and four steals for FSU.

ULM is averaging 52.9 points per game and is shooting 36.7 percent from the field, 31.0 percent (36-of-116) from 3-point range and 57.6 percent (68-of-118) from the free-throw line.

The ULM defense has allowed over 70 points just twice this season and has held its opponent under 70 three straight games. During that stretch, opponents are shooting just 40.1 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from 3-point range.

ULM has had balanced scoring so far this season with four players averaging at least 9.3 points per game. Junior Amos Olatayo leads the team in scoring (13.0 ppg) followed by sophomore Trent Mackey (11.0), junior R.J. McCray (9.3) and junior Jayon James (9.3).

James has filled up the stat page through seven games this season, including a near triple-double against Southeastern Louisiana (Dec. 10). James ranks sixth in the Sun Belt in rebounding (7.9 rpg), fourth in the conference in assists (4.3 apg), seventh in assists-turnover ratio (0.8) and first in minutes played (35.4).

Mackey has once again asserted himself as one of the best 3-point shooters in the conference this season. Mackey has gone 8-of-14 in ULM's past two games and he ranks sixth in the Sun Belt in 3-point percentage (.447) and sixth in 3-point makes per game (2.4). Mackey is now 59-of-135 (43.7 percent) from 3-point range for his career. 

UAB enters Thursday with a record of 5-6 following an 88-79 loss at Rutgers on Sunday. The Blazers are averaging 77.7 points per game and shooting 44.4 percent from the field, 36.1 percent (82-of-227) from 3-point range and 73.4 percent (157-of-214) from the free-throw line. UAB is 2-1 this season against teams from the Sun Belt, with wins against Troy (75-55) and South Alabama (92-78) and a loss at Middle Tennessee (84-64).

• Jordan Swing is the player to watch for UAB, averaging 15.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Swing is shooting 49.6 percent (57-of-115) from the field, 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from 3-point range and 82.5 percent (33-of-40) from the free-throw line. Rod Rucker adds 12.7 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game, and Fahro Alihodzic chips in 10.5 points per game.

• Jerod Haase is in his first season as the head coach at UAB after spending the previous 13 years on Roy Williams' staff at Kansas (1999-2003) and North Carolina (2003-12). Haase helped North Carolina to national titles in 2005 and 2009. He also played three seasons for Williams at Kansas from 1994-97.

UAB leads the all-time series with ULM, 1-0, with the only meeting taking place on Nov. 27, 1994, an 85-67 Blazers' victory in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

ULM returns to Sun Belt action on Dec. 29 with a home contest against Florida Atlantic at 4 p.m. inside Fant-Ewing Coliseum.