Good evening from Orleans Arena in fabulous Las Vegas, where the UAB basketball team looks to become the first Alabama team to lift a postseason trophy as they face North Texas in the NIT championship game.
The Blazers enter the title game at 29-9 overall — winning 16 of their last 18 games and setting the program record for wins in a season — and are 1-2 against North Texas this season after being swept in the regular-season series and avenging the losses in the C-USA semifinals. UAB is ranked 10 in scoring offense (81.3 ppg) and faces the top-scoring defense (55.7 ppg) in the Mean Green.
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Jordan “Jelly” Walker leads the Blazers in scoring (22.3 ppg), ranking fifth in the nation, and Ty Brewer is coming off a career-high double-double of 30 points and 12 rebounds. Trey “The Mayor” Jemison has been the most consistent player for UAB this season and the rest of the senior class — KJ Buffen, Tavin Lovan and Ledarrius Brewer — are looking to close out their respective UAB careers with a victory and some hardware. Stay tuned to al.com/uab for postgame coverage.
— UAB 15, North Texas 12 (11:44) | Under-12 timeout: Jordan Walker scores on a short layup and Javian Davis follows it up with a jump shot and the Blazers power ahead on an 11-0 run after being down 10-2 early.
— Jordan Walker takes another contested 3-point attempt out of the timeout and is fouled by Tylor Perry on the made shot. He converts the 4-point play to close the gap to a single point.
— North Texas 12, UAB 7 (14:10) | Under-16 timeout: Jordan Walker nails his first 3-pointer of the game to cut the lead down to two possession. UAB has possession out of the timeout.
— Buffen ends a 4:11 opening field goal drought on a short floater to trim the deficit but North Texas playing more decisive on the court and dictating the pace.
— Aaron Scott scores on North Texas’ third attempt to take a 7-0 lead, but KJ Buffen is fouled on the other side and hits a pair of free throws for UAB’s first points of the game.
— North Texas wins the tip and Rubin Jones nails a 3-pointer on the opening possession and Kai Huntsberry follows it up with a fadeaway jumper for a 5-0 lead in the early going.
UAB lineup: G Jordan Walker, G Tavin Lovan, G Ty Brewer, F KJ Buffen, C Trey Jemison
North Texas lineup: G Tylor Perry, G Kai Huntsberry, G Rubin Jones, F Aaron Scott, F Moulaye Sissoko