The Georgia Bulldogs and UAB Blazers will meet on Tuesday in the championship game of the Sunshine Slam’s Beach Bracket in Daytona Beach, Fla., after both had little trouble in the semifinals.
Georgia (4-1) never trailed and led 38-15 at halftime en route to a 66-53 win over Saint Joseph’s on Monday. UAB (3-1) pulled away for an 80-65 victory over winless South Florida earlier in the day.
For the Bulldogs, Kario Oquendo had 15 points and five rebounds and Justin Hill chipped in 12 points, including going a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range. Terry Roberts finished with 12 points, five assists and four rebounds, and Jabri Abdur-Rahim scored all 12 of his points in the first half.
Georgia took control of the game midway through the first half by going on an 11-2 run to take a 15-6 lead following Oquendo’s free throw with 12:42 left. Roberts’ jumper with 25 seconds left in the half extended the Bulldogs lead to 23 at the break.
“Our level of urgency (in the first half) was high,” Georgia coach Mike White said. “I think there was a big difference in our communication between half one and half two. In half one, it was about as sharp as it had been in any game or practice.”
The Blazers outscored the Bulls 38-28 in the second half to turn a close game into a decisive victory.
Jordan Walker had 15 points and five assists to lead four Blazers in double-figure scoring. Javian Davis posted 14 points and eight rebounds, Ledarrius Brewer had 14 points and five rebounds and KJ Buffen chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Blazers outrebounded the Bulls 40-31 and scored 14 points off South Florida’s 13 turnovers.
However, UAB also committed 13 turnovers, including five by Walker and three by Eric Gaines.
“The thing that sticks out to me is this thing has to get corrected,” UAB coach Andy Kennedy said during his Blazers Sportsline postgame interview.
“I’m obviously scratching my bald head daily about it. Another game, another eight turnovers out of our backcourt. It’s just not winning basketball. We’ve got to get those guys tightened up if we’re expected to have an opportunity (Tuesday).”
–Field Level Media