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Full Version: Blazer Almanac - March 29-30
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March 29 and 30
I was unable to do an entry yesterday, so I am combining yesterday with today's entry. After today, there is only one more game left to report on, which will be for March 31.

March 29
UAB has played two games on March 29, both games in the NIT Final Four.

1989 - UAB had lost in the semi finals of the 1989 NIT tournament, but the season was not over. In 1989, the NIT had a third place game. St. John's and Saint Louis were playing for the championship, and UAB was playing Michigan State for third place. This game turned out to be better than the championship game

Reginald Turner scored UAB's first 12 points and the Blazers led for the first 30 minutes of the game thanks to Turner's hot hand. When Michigan State coach Jud Heathcoate had his team start doubling Turner, Barry Bearden started hitting. The Blazers led 37-29 at the half, but Michigan State opened the second half on a 14-3 run to take the lead. UAB forced overtime on points by Barry Bearden.

In overtime, the Spartans jumped out to a four point lead with 1:38 to play. Bearden hit a three to cut the lead to one, and after a Michigan State basket, Bearden hit his 8th three pointer of the game to tie the game with 53 seconds to go. UAB's defense kept Michigan State from scoring and UAB had the last shot. Bearden drove the lane and dished the ball to Alan Ogg who slammed home the ball with three seconds to go. The Blazers won 78-76 in overtime. Bearden and Turner each had 26 points. Turner's points were enough to break Oliver Robinson's single season scoring record. He had 662 on the year, 7 more than Oliver. The record would stand only two years before Andy Kennedy would break it.

1993 - Four years later, UAB was back in the NIT Final Four, after a run that including a win at Alabama. Their first game in Madison Square Gardens was against Georgetown. Neither team played well and this was an ugly game. Georgetown managed only 14 points in the first half and early in the second half, UAB looked like they were going to win, leading 31-14. However, Georgetown. Coach, John Thompson started pressing and trapping and looking for the quick shot. The Hoyas went on a 20-5 run and tied the game at 41. Georgetown went ahead with three minutes to go, and managed to score one more time, winning 45-41. UAB failed to score in the last nine minutes of the game and only had two points in the last 13 minutes.

March 30
No games played on March 30, but two Blazer Birthdays, 38 years apart.

Born today in 1957 was Larry Spicer. Spicer played for UAB for the first two years of the basketball program's existence. He was one of four players that Gene Bartow brought to Birmingham from Memphis, Tennessee. Spicer and George Jones transferred to UAB from Baylor. Spicer had played from 1975-77 at Baylor and averaged 16.7 points per game, their leading scorer. At UAB, he averaged 14.6 in his two years. He was the leading scorer during 78-79 and the second leading scorer 79-80.

Also born on this date in 1995 was Thomas Smallwood. Smallwood played for UAB from 2015 to 2018, but left the team midseason. He averaged just under 2 points a game, playing in 36 games in his 2 1/2 years.

Happy birthday Larry Spicer and Thomas Smallwood.
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