BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Adonis Thomas netted 19 points and Tarik Black had his first double-double of the season as Memphis knocked off Conference USA-foe Alabama-Birmingham 69-53 Saturday night.
Thomas was 9-of-15 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds, while Black contributed 10 points and 13 rebounds. Joe Jackson added 17 points and five assists for the Tigers (12-3, 2-0).Rod Rucker paced the Blazers (8-9, 0-2) with 16 points and 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double this season and third straight. The junior is averaging 17.7 points and 13.3 rebounds over his past three contests.Memphis dominated on the glass with a 44-34 rebounding advantage.Both teams struggled beyond the arc, with Memphis connecting on 1 of 12 attempts and UAB going 0 for 13.Memphis led 19-17 when D.J. Stephens' layup sparked a 15-3 run that put the Tigers up 34-20 at the intermission. Memphis maintained the double-digit lead the rest of the game.
In missing all 13 3-point attempts Saturday, UAB ran its streak of consecutive 3-point misses to 42, dating back to Jan. 5. The Blazers missed their final six attempts in that game and then went 0 for 23 in their next game Wednesday.
Memphis made just 1 of 12 3s Saturday, as the two teams combined for 1-of-25 shooting from long range. The combined 4 percent is the worst this season, surpassing the 9.1 percent combined for by Syracuse and San Diego State in their November game aboard an aircraft carrier.