South Florida falls to UAB

Published: Thursday, January 9, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 9, 2003 at 1:14 a.m.

TAMPA - Morris Finley had 28 points as Alabama-Birmingham beat South Florida 79-69 in the Conference USA opener for both teams Wednesday night.

Finley shot 10-for-16, including 6 of 7 from 3-point range. Richard Jones added 16 points for the Blazers (9-3, 1-0).

Will McDonald led South Florida (7-5, 0-1) with 23 points.

Finley hit consecutive 3-pointers to put UAB up 46-40 with 13:41 remaining. Gabe Kennedy's 3-point play extended the lead to 49-41 just over a minute later.

McDonald had two baskets and a 3-pointer by Reggie Kohn brought South Florida within 61-57 at the six-minute mark. Finley countered with eight straight points to make it 69-59 with 4:30 left.

A lackluster first half saw the teams played to a 29-all tie, with UAB shooting 34.5 percent compared to South Florida's 31.3 percent. From 3-point range, the teams were a combined 1-for-16 in the first half.

The teams also had a combined 21 fouls and 24 turnovers in the first half.

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