Ala.-Birmingham 80, Dayton 67
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ Robert Shannon had 20 points and Clarence Thrash added 18 and 13 rebounds to lead Alabama-Birmingham to an 80-67 victory over Dayton on Friday in second-round action at the Great Alaska Shootout.
Corey Jackson added 18 points for UAB, while Alex Robertson led the Flyers with 24, all but three of those in the second half, and Chip Hare added 15.
″I felt good tonight and I felt like I could pick up some of the slack,″ Shannon said.
UAB broke the game open in the first half with a 20-8 run and Dayton, which lost to Illinois in overtime on Wednesday, never could catch up.
″Dayton’s hard loss (to Illinois) had more effect on them than our loss (to Vanderbilt Wednesday) did on us,″ UAB coach Gene Bartow said. ″That’s as good as we can play defensively.″
The Blazers used their superior quickness to work the ball inside for easy points or around the perimeter for open jumpers, while their aggressive defense created several steals for breakaway buckets.
Dayton went to Robertson down the stretch and he responded with three of his game-high five 3-pointers in bringing the game as close as 11 before Thrash ended scoring the way he began it - with an authoritative two-handed slam.
″The game came down to two things: Their half-court pressure defense and the fact that we couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean,″ Dayton coach Jim O’Brien said.
Alabama-Birmingham plays Saturday against the winner of Friday’s game between Tennessee-Chattanooga and Alaska-Anchorage. Dayton meets the loser of that game on Saturday.