Blazers defeat Mustangs 67-53 in midst of Papa Dia’s fourth straight double double
Published: Friday, January 21, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
In Wednesday's loss to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Blazers. senior forward Papa Dia and point guard Rodney Clinkscales combined over half of the Mustang's points with 16 points each that night.
UAB, who remains undefeated at home, won their third game in league play, while SMU, with only one conference win, returns to Moody Coliseum on Saturday riding a two-game losing streak.
"To me, you could make a case that UAB is the best team in the league," head Coach Matt Doherty said. "To win on the road, you have to be sharper, and we weren't that sharp."
Dia, who has had a double-double in all four C-USA games this season, had his eighth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds in addition to his 16 points.
Now with a perfect 9-0 record on their home court, the Blazers (13-4, 3-1 Conference USA) took a 16-point lead with five minutes left in the second half to seal their fourth consecutive win over the Mustangs. SMU slipped to 10-8 overall and 1-3 in league games.
Senior guard Jamarr Sanders from UAB scored a game-high of 22 points while junior forward Cameron Moore added 12 points and 12 boards.
With a 34-25 lead at the half, UAB kept their lead the entire game, shooting 49 percent from the field compared to 39.2 percent from SMU.
This weekend's game against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (14-4, 3-2 C-USA), a team that received votes in both the AP Top 25 and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll in week 11, could be another tough match up for the Mustangs, despite the home court advantage.
SMU has not defeated the Golden Eagles since 2009 when SMU knocked off the Golden Eagles, 67-65 after taking a commanding 42-28 lead at the half. Last season, Southern Miss won on their home court, 56-53.
Southern Miss, coming to Moody off a 76-75 loss to Memphis, has proven they can win on the road after defeating Marshall 95-65 and Rice 81-78.
However, in a conference that has become much more condensed since it was proven that Memphis can be beat, there is no team that really stands out among the rest.
Senior forward Gary Flowers leads with 21.1 points averaged per game and senior point guard R.L. Horton leads with an average of 12.7 points per game. As a team, they lead the league in scoring with 78.6 points averaged per game. The Golden Eagles are also first in Conference USA with an average of 40.5 boards per game.
Saturday's game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tip off in Moody Coliseum. Southern Miss currently leads the series at 3-5.