UAB suffers heartbreaking 61-59 loss to ODU in C-USA Semis

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FRISCO, Texas (UAB  Athletics) – Old Dominion’s Xavier Green converted an and-1 with 4.0 seconds remaining to lead the Monarchs to a 61-59 victory over UAB on Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the Conference USA Championship held at the Ford Center.

The Blazers had a chance to tie the contest in the waning seconds, but could not convert a fast break attempt with one second remaining.

Zack Bryant led all players with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting. Jalen Perry scored 14 and Lewis Sullivan added 10 for UAB (20-14).

Green had 21 for ODU (25-8) who advances to the championship game Saturday evening.

The first half was played tight, with four ties and five lead changes. With ODU up by six, three straight baskets by Bryant tied the contest at 13-13 heading into the under-12 media timeout.

Makhtar Gueye’s and-1 gave the Blazers their first advantage of the game – 22-21 at 5:49, which they would hold for the next 2:39. The lead would exchange hands four more times before Perry’s jumper with 33 seconds left put UAB ahead 29-28 heading into halftime.

The Blazers came out of the gates scoring the first five points of the second half to extend the lead to six points. However, the shooting went cold, as UAB went 4:27 without scoring while ODU went on an 8-0 run to take a 36-34 lead at 14:07.

The teams exchanged 3-pointers before the Blazers went on a 9-0 run to go ahead 46-39 at 8:23. Sullivan’s jumper at 4:46 gave UAB their largest lead of the game – nine points at 53-44. ODU responded with a 12-3 run to tie the contest at 56-56 with 1:32 remaining. Bryant threw down a dunk at 1:18 to put UAB back on top.

The Blazers had a chance to make it a two possession contest, but Bryant made the front end of two from the line with 23 seconds remaining. Ahmad Caver was fouled and made both free throws on the Monarchs’ next possession which made the score 59-58 with 15.0 seconds left.

After a 30-second ODU timeout, Caver fouled Bryant, but he missed the front end of the 1-and-1. The ball was rebounded by B.J. Stith which led to the Green’s game-winning basket.

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