A pair of teams from Conference USA will square off on Saturday as the UAB Blazers pay a visit to Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg, Mississippi to battle it out with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
The Blazers enter this game off a 64-53 road loss to Louisiana Tech to fall to 2-1 in league play, while the Golden Eagles come in off a 77-70 home win over Middle Tennessee to move to 1-3 within Conference USA.
Blazers Can’t Find Offense Against Bulldogs
The UAB Blazers are off to a decent 10-6 start to the year and their offense had been playing better of late, but that was not the case in their last game as they fell to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs of the road by a score of 64-53. The Blazers came into the game having averaged 75 ppg in their five previous games. Back to the drawing board for this offense and it may not get a whole lot better for them as the Golden Eagles have been strong on the defensive end of the court. UAB shot just 37.5% from the floor overall, including 32% (8/32) from distance. They went to the foul line just five times, converting on just three as the Bulldogs committed a total of six fouls in the game. The Blazers get just 15.3 ppg at the charity stripe, which is 312th in the land. Leading their attack was Jalen Perry (11.8 ppg) with 13, while Zack Bryant (12.7 ppg) had 10. The defense played well as they allowed the Bulldogs to hit just 43.1% of their shots overall, including 36.4% (8/22) from deep, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the poor offensive showing.
Late run lifts La. Tech to victory over UAB. Full recap ⬇️
— UAB Men's Basketball (@UAB_MBB) January 11, 2019
The Blazers check in ranked 269th in the nation in scoring at 70.2 ppg, while also ranking 125th in shooting (46.0%), 267th in three-point shooting (32.1%) and 302nd in free throw shooting (65.2%). At the defensive end of the court, they have been solid as they have allowed just 66.1 ppg, which is 59th in the nation, while also ranking 75th in defensive FG% (40.9%) and 60th in three-point defense (30.8%).
Southern Miss Grabs First Conference Win Of The Year
The Southern Miss Golden Eagles come in at 9-7 on the year, but they did start league play at v0-3, before notching their first conference win in their last game. The Golden Eagles really needed the win after going 1-5 in their previous six games. The Golden Eagles won the game by a score of 77-70 and they finally good a good showing from an offense that averaged just 60.8 ppg over their previous six games.
Southern Miss shot 49.1% from the floor overall, including 50.0% (8/16) from distance. We may not see a tone of free throws in this game as just 12.7% of their points come from the line, which is 349th in the nation. They did make 13 of 17 attempts in the win over the Blue Raiders. Tyree Griffin (12.9 ppg) led the attack with 21 points, while LaDavius Draine (9.6 ppg) was 2nd with 14. The defense has been the staple of the Golden Eagles so far. but the Blue Raiders did shoot 45.3% from the floor against them, including 39.1% (9/23) from long range.
Southern Miss has been a below average offensive so far as they come in ranked 238th in the nation in scoring at 71.8 ppg, while also ranking 202nd in shooting (44.4%), 112th in three-point shooting (35.9%) and 349th in free throw shooting (59.9%). At the defensive end of the court, they have been strong as they have allowed just 63.6 ppg, which is 28th in the nation, while also ranking 35th in defensive FG% (39.6%) and 111th in three-point defense (32.2%).
Southern Miss is:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. Conference USA
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
These teams are fairly even and when that is the case, you take the dog. I will do just that in this one and I feel that the Blazers will win the game outright. The Blazers have won three of their last four games, while the Golden Eagles have lost five of their last seven, so these teams are heading in opposite directions. The Golden Eagles have struggled on offense and they will not score enough to win this one against a tough defensive squad.
Prediction: UAB +4
Full-Game Total Pick
The Over is 8-2 the last 10 games in this series, but I will be going with the Under in this one. The UAB defense has been tough all year and they have allowed just 60.4 ppg over their last five games, while the Golden Eagles have averaged 62.4 ppg over their last seven games. The Southern Miss defense has been tough this year and they have allowed just 67.8 ppg over their last five games while UAB has averaged just 65.3 ppg on the road. This one has a defensive battle written all over it.
Prediction: Under 127.5