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November 22, 2013

Second half dooms NU again in 87-74 loss to UAB

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Nebraska could not overcome UAB's hot-shooting second half, as Nebraska fell to the Blazers, 87-74, at the 2013 Charleston Classic presented by Gildan Friday afternoon.

Nebraska (3-2) led 34-31 at the break and built a six-point lead in the opening moments in the second half before succumbing to the Blazers' offensive outburst in the final 20 minutes.

UAB (4-1) shot 83 percent in the second half, hitting 19-of-23 points from the floor, as Chad Frazier scored 21 of his game-high 32 points in the second half. Frazier hit 8-of-13 shots from the field and was 12-of-15 from the foul line, as he finished with 32 points, seven assists and five rebounds to pace five UAB players in double figures.

Despite UAB's offensive outburst, Nebraska was still in a position to win, trailing 66-64 with 7:41 left after a pair of Walter Pitchford free throws, but baskets by UAB's Robert Williams and Rod Rucker extended the margin to 70-64.

Nebraska pulled to within 72-67 after a pair of Shavon Shields free throws with 4:37 left, but could not get closer, as the Blazers went on a 9-2 run to pull away down the stretch.

Fahro Alihodzic joined Frazier in double figures with 16 points, while Rucker added 13 points and 10 rebounds. In all, UAB shot 53.7 percent from the floor and out-rebounded Nebraska, 41-28, while holding the Huskers to just 43 percent shooting.

Nebraska took a 37-31 lead after 3-point play from Terran Petteway before Frazier, who was held in check during the first half, took over the game for UAB. The junior point guard scored seven points in a 9-2 spurt, as his basket gave the Blazers a 40-39 lead.

The teams traded points, and Nebraska led 48-46 after a Shields hoop before a Jordan Swing layup and a steal and layup by Frazier off the inbounds pass keyed another 9-2 spurt to push the UAB lead to 55-50.

Petteway led Nebraska, as he scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and added five Huskers to pace four Huskers in double figures. Deverell Biggs and Shields added 11 points each while Pitchford finished with 10 points and six rebounds.

In the first half, it was Nebraska's defense which put the Huskers in solid position, as the Huskers held UAB to 32 percent shooting and forced 10 Blazer turnovers. Nebraska missed its first five shots from the field before hitting four in a row from the floor to take a 10-7 lead, as Biggs came off the bench with five straight points to spark the rally.

The Huskers trailed 24-19 before 3-pointers from Pitchford and Ray Gallegos keyed a 15-3 Husker spurt. Gallegos, who was not expected to play on Friday after suffering an injury on Thursday, hit a pair of 3-pointers in the run, as Nebraska built a 34-27 lead with 4:05 left in the half after a Biggs' basket.

Nebraska will wrap up tournament play Sunday afternoon, as the Huskers will face either Georgia or Temple Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. (CT) on ESPN3 and on the Husker Sports Network.

Around the rim

***Petteway cracked the 20-point barrier for the second straight game with 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Petteway is averaging 24.5 points per game at the Charleston Classic.

***Shields reached double figures for the seventh straight game dating back to last season. He also tied his career high with three assists vs. UAB.

***UAB's 53.7 percent shooting is a high for a Husker opponent this season and the highest since Ohio State shot 59.1 percent at the Big Ten Tournament.

***UAB now leads the all-time series, 3-2 and has won three straight in the series.

***Nebraska committed six turnovers in Friday's loss the fourth time in five games the Huskers have had less than 10 turnovers.

***Pitchford grabbed a career-high six rebounds in the losing effort.

***Biggs had 11 points off the bench, marking the fourth straight game NU has had a bench player reach double figures. NU's bench accounted for 27 points on Thursday.

***David Rivers had three steals on Friday and has seven steals in two games at the Charleston Classic


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