UAB Blazers Triumph in Thrilling Overtime Win against #20 FAU Owls
In a heart-stopping matchup on their home court, the UAB Blazers claimed a memorable 76-73 victory in overtime against the 20th ranked FAU Owls. This thrilling game showcased the Blazers' resilience, skill, and team chemistry, leaving the packed student section at Bartow Arena buzzing with excitement.
From the tip-off, both teams displayed intensity, yet struggled to make baskets. FAU took control early, heading into halftime with a 39-32 lead. However, UAB refused to back down and barged back into contention with a renewed energy in the second half.
Leading the charge for the Blazers was Yaxel Lendeborg, who played a phenomenal 45 minutes and dominated the boards with an astonishing 21 rebounds. Lendeborg's double-double performance, coupled with his 17 points, proved crucial in securing the win for UAB.
The Blazers' offensive efforts were also supported by Efrem "Butta" Johnson, who stepped up during overtime with a game-dagger three-pointer from NBA range. Johnson's clutch shot electrified the arena and put the game out of reach for the Blazers. Meanwhile, guard Eric Gaine contributed 16 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds, demonstrating his versatility and playmaking abilities throughout the game, only a few ticks shy of a triple double.
Off the bench, Christian Coleman provided an important spark with 14 points and 5 rebounds, while Alejandro Vasquez contributed 13 points and 5 rebounds, showcasing the Blazers' depth and balanced scoring attack.
While the FAU Owls were far less intruding offensively than in their first match in Boca Raton they did get key contributions, with Johnell Davis leading their efforts with 17 points and Alijah Martin adding 14 points, it was the Blazers' resilience and determination that ultimately led to their triumph.
With a crowd of 5,309 fans make the late night tip-off, the atmosphere was electric, with the raucous student section heightening the energy levels to support their hometown team. The game received national attention, being televised on ESPN2.The Blazers are 14-6 all-time against the Owls and 8-0 at home. The 3 point defeat for the Owls at Bartow Arena is the closest they have ever come to beating the Blazers in Birmingham.
As the UAB Blazers celebrated their hard-fought victory, this game served as a testament to their character, teamwork, and ability to rise to the occasion against challenging opponents. The win against the 20th ranked FAU Owls will serve as a significant momentum boost for UAB as they continue their AAC campaign.