BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Old Dominion guard Aaron Bacote and UAB guard Chad Frazier had strikingly similar numbers heading into Thursday night's Conference USA matchup at Bartow Arena.
On Thursday, however, Frazier was decidedly better in the Blazers' 75-66 victory over the Monarchs.
Frazier led Alabama Birmingham with 27 points, considerably more than his season average of 17.7 points per game. He hit four 3-pointers and added four assists and a rebound.
Bacote, a Bethel High graduate who averages 17.5 points per game, struggled from the outset, scoring eight points on 4-of-17 shooting from the field. Bacote, an 80 percent free-throw shooter, missed both of his free throws and all four of his 3-point attempts.
At one point in the second half, after a 17-foot jumper rolled in and out, Bacote looked to the bench with a frustrated look, shook his head and held his palms upward. It was just one of those nights for the talented sophomore.
That's not all that went wrong for the Monarchs (10-11 overall, 4-2 C-USA) on a night when UAB (14-6, 3-3) led for all but 46 seconds. ODU shot just 34.8 percent from the field and had trouble keeping the Blazers from getting quality shots.
The Monarchs managed to hang in despite falling behind by as many as 19 points in the second half. ODU guard Ambrose Mosley, who had three second-half 3-pointers, finished with 16 points and guard Dimitri Batten had a team-best 18 points.
UAB was in control for most of the first half, with Frazier and forward C.J. Washington combining for 25 points. The Blazers led by 11 points twice in the first half, including a 35-24 advantage at halftime.
The Monarchs had difficulty getting into an offensive flow in the first half, shooting 31.3 percent. Bacote made just 2-of-10 shots from the field and missed all three of his 3-point attempts in the first 20 minutes.
ODU guard Dimitri Batten, a former Heritage and Kecoughtan High standout, had a team-high seven points and also a team-leading five rebounds in the first half.
UAB outrebounded the Monarchs 25-18 in the first half and had seven second-chance points on seven offensive rebounds.
UAB has an 11-1 record at Bartow Arena. The lone loss at home this season came Jan. 18, when Texas-El Pasoknocked off the Blazers 63-61. …
Old Dominion and UAB were playing as fellow C-USA members for the first time. However, they are longtime rivals from the days they both were Sun Belt members. The teams played four overtime games during that time and met in the Sun Belt finals in 1984. …
Free pizza was provided for all UAB students in attendance. Class was canceled from Tuesday morning through Thursday night because of snow.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun