Basketball Wins on Late Foul Against UAB
By Jonathan Bym, Editor
After playing neck-and-neck with all three of its Division I opponents last year in its winless exhibition slate, the UNCP men’s basketball team finally got its big win over a Division I school as it knocked off University of Alabama Birmingham, 72-71.
Guard play played a key role in the Braves’ stealing home court from the Blazers as the three starters in the backcourt scored in double-figures.
Senior Griffin Pittman had a game-high 16 points while Quamain Rose finished with 13 and newcomer Brandon Watts had 10.
After having 19 turnovers in its second exhibition contest against Athletes in Action, UNCP cleaned up on offense and only coughed the ball up nine times while forcing 18 on defense.
“We can improve in some areas, but we took good care of the ball tonight. That is a huge positive. I am excited for our guys. We've had a lot of chances to play these games, but to come away with a win is still a lot of fun,” coach Ben Miller said.
Behind a 42-point first half where the Braves shot 43 percent from the floor, UNCP took a nine-point cushion into halftime.
In the first half, Pittman scored 12 of his 16 points in the game.
The lead out of the half quickly grew to the largest of the game at 12 after Cody Hughes sank two from the charity stripe with 17:33 left.
UAB went on a 19-6 run over the next nine minutes to take a one-point lead that led up to the nail-biting finish.
Robert Brown capped off the rally with a 3-pointer with 8:45 left putting them up 55-54.
Both teams traded out baskets for the next eight minutes before UNCP took a five-point lead with 45 seconds remaining after Rose hit two free throws.
Brown single-handedly brought the Blazers back as he scored five straight points in three seconds to knot the game at 71.
With the game tied and having the ball with 27 seconds left, the Braves had a chance for the win and a costly foul with two seconds left put Rose at the line where he hit one of two to finish off UAB.
Reggie Cobia had eight points and four rebounds in the game.Tyler Kordenbrock scored two points off the bench on one-of-four shooting.
Tyler Madison gave UAB good production off the bench with 11 points and eight rebounds.
The win closed out the Braves exhibition slate, and they will open their season on the road on Nov. 14 against Lenior-Rhyne.
Photo by Jonathan Bym. Forward Reggie Cobia slams the ball into the basket in a game earlier this season. He had eight points in the game against UAB.