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UAB upsets LSU in Boise; Arizona up next


By Roman Vetysman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, March 18 2005

It was hard to tell which team was the No.6 seed when the Louisiana State Tigers (20-10) played the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers (22-10), a game which UAB wound up winning 82-68.

The 11th-seeded Blazers upset win results in a forthcoming game against Arizona Saturday.

UAB jumped out on a 23-7 run to build a 15 point lead at 35-20 with 4:21 left to play in the first half. The Tigers never recovered even as a late spurt brought them within single digits.

"We're playing good basketball and now you're seeing some of our parts come together, UAB head coach Mike Anderson said. "I thought it was one of our better performances especially the way we played extremely well early on."

Marvett McDonald scored 21 points and made 5-of-8 from 3-point range to lead the Blazers. Donnell Taylor added 14 points and the UAB bench poured in another 21.

LSU couldn't handle UAB's full-court pressure, turning the ball over 21 times including seven from guard Tack Minor. Guard Darrel Mitchell went 1-of-14 from the field and the Tiger guards only made eight shots in 37 attempts.

"We did not deal with (UAB's defensive) pressure well," LSU freshman center Glen Davis said.

UAB's press, which helped the Blazers beat Washington in last year's NCAA tournament can be suffocating, but their up tempo play matches what Arizona wants to do. LSU, however wasn't ready, according to Taylor.

"Basically they haven't faced pressure like we give pressure all year long," he said. "We got in those guys' grill and they were kicking ball off their feet, passing to each other's knees."

Taylor thinks the main problem they face with Arizona is the Wildcats size but he wasn't worried about Saturday.

"They have more size but pretty much all year we've been outsized," he said. "We got guards that can go down there and rebound with our big men. We're not looking at that game any more than we looked at this game. We're just going to go out there and take it one play at a time."



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