All Hope Is Not Lost
UAB fell at the hands of Tylor Perry and North Texas 58-57 Saturday afternoon in Bartow Arena. There were certainly some missed opportunities by our Blazers, especially at the charity stripe missing nine free throws. However, sometimes you just have to tip your hat off to the other team. UNT came in and played their slow-paced style of basketball and beat UAB in Bartow—something that no other team has been able to do all season. In fact, before this game UAB was 15-0 in Bartow and had won each of those games by double digits. Tylor Perry was able to come off the bench and make UAB pay by scoring a game high 25 points and most importantly the game winning three pointer over Trey Jamison with just a couple seconds left in the game. If you’re asking who the CUSA player of the year is now I would have to give it to North Texas's Perry.
With that said, UAB still has a lot left to play for in the 2021-22 basketball season. Coach Andy Kennedy still has the Blazers playing good basketball this year and the team just needs to keep improving before the conference tournament in Frisco, TX. More than likely, UNT will win the regular season CUSA title, but UAB can still finish second in the West division of CUSA. If the Blazers can finish second in the West, then they get an important bye into the quarterfinals of the CUSA tournament (the top 2 teams out of the East and West divisions get byes). Right now, UAB sits tied for second in the West with Louisiana Tech. However, UAB holds the tiebreaker over the Bulldogs since the Blazers beat them earlier in the season. UAB will have to earn it though because three out of the last four games left on the schedule are on the road before ending the season at home against La Tech.
We have seen a lot of highs out of this basketball team this year. For example, beating the same North Texas team we just lost to for a third straight time at their place, as well as beating Louisiana Tech at their place for the first time ever. Not to mention getting other huge wins on the road at Saint Louis and Western Kentucky. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen some head scratching losses by the same team at Marshall, Rice, and ODU. Teams who have been at the bottom of the league this year.
All that really matters now is winning out to clinch that 2nd place spot in the West division to get the bye in the CUSA tournament. If UAB can do that than they would just need 3 wins to go to the NCAA tournament. Personally, I believe this team is capable of doing just that if we can just keep improving and gel together as a group. I trust Andy Kennedy and I trust this team. All hope isn’t lost just because we lost at home to North Texas. In fact, I believe we will be better together as a team because of it.