haha dunk

Senior William "HaHa" Lee throws down a two-handed dunk during the Blazers 74-62 win over La Tech.
Photo by Lakyn Shepard/Photo Editor

Connor Gentry
Sports Editor

The UAB men's basketball team improved to 13-5 and 4-1 in conference play as they continued their 2018 campaign against the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech University, 10-9 and 1-5 in conference play. The Bulldogs started the contest shooting the ball well and held a 40-39 lead over the Blazers after the first half. However, the Blazers rallied and won the contest 74-62 behind senior Chris Cokley's 24 points.

The Blazers began the game in a zone defense that allowed both Jacobi Boykins and Derric Jean of La Tech to hit five three-pointers. As a team, the Bulldogs made six three-pointers in the first half, but after the Blazers began to play a man-to-man defense, La Tech's long-range shooting ceased as they made zero threes in the second half.

Robert Ehsan, UAB's head coach, was pleased with the defensive effort by the Blazers, who only allowed 22 points in the second half after allowing 40 in the first half.

"Our defense was superb, especially given the foul trouble that Chris [Cokley] and [William Lee] were in," Ehsan said.

Junior Jalen Perry supplied the Blazers with a spark off the bench as he scored 14 points and four assists. Perry saw a few more minutes than usual as both Cokley and Lee sat for extended periods of time due to foul trouble.

"Jalen has had games like this," Ehsan said. "The last three games, for whatever reason, has not been shooting the ball great, but he has had great practices. His energy and attitude have been great. We needed him tonight and we don't win this game tonight without him."

The Blazers outscored the Bulldogs 40-24 in the paint with most of those points coming from Cokley.

The Blazers return to action on the road against Western Kentucky University Jan. 18, in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Conner Gentry can be reached zcgentry@uab.edu

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