Huntsville, Ala. - Overcoming a slow start, the No. 8 University of Alabama in Huntsville men's basketball team picked up an 82-77 victory at Kelly Court at Spragins Hall on Thursday night. The victory moves the Chargers to 20-4 (13-3 Gulf South Conference), while Union slips to 6-17 (4-11 GSC).
The victory provides UAH with its fourth straight 20-win season.
Union did not make it easy, however, as the Bulldogs showed why they had knocked off North Alabama and Christian Brothers in their previous two contests. The team shot 55.2 percent from the field including 6-of-12 from 3-point land in the first half en route to building up as much as a 15-point advantage in the period.
The squad also played strong defense, limiting the Chargers to a field goal percentage of just 38.5 percent in the opening period, and the hosts held a 40-31 advantage at the halftime break.
Sparking the team's comeback, Wayne Dedrick hit a big 3-pointer out of the break, and the team converted the momentum generated by the triple into a 17-5 run. Jaime Smith was especially torrid during the stretch as he scored 12 points – including a shot from downtown at the 16:19 mark that generated a 48-45 advantage for the hosts.
Smith turned in his second consecutive 30-point game as he finished with 31 on Thursday night, and he broke the school record for free throws in a game as he hit 16 in the contest to surpass the mark that was set by his older brother Joe Smith on Dec. 18, 2000.
Behind Smith's and Dedrick's strong showings in the period, the Chargers wound up shooting 62.5 percent from the field and 9-for-17 from beyond the arc in the second half, and though the contest would be tied on three occasions, UAH would never trail again after the team took the lead on Smith's shot.
Dedrick scored 12 of his 17 points in the half, hitting three of the team's treys, while Zane Campbell and Ronnie Mack also finished the night in double figures with 14.
Union – who was led by Anthony Freeman's 15 points – concluded the night shooting 50.8 percent to edge out the Chargers who notched a 50.0 percent performance, and the Bulldogs also owned a 33-25 advantage on the glass.
UAH now will hit the road for the short trip to Florence, Ala., where the Chargers will take on rival North Alabama at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Courtesy UAH Media Relations